Online Program

Disaster preparedness among elderly latinos

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:54 a.m. - 9:06 a.m.

Sloane C. Burke, PhD, CHES, Health Sciences Department: MPH and Public Health Programs, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA
Lawrence Chu, PhD, MPH, MS, Department of Health Sciences, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA
Jeffrey Bethel, PhD, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Kyusuk Chung, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA
Latinos are the largest and fastest growing racial/ethnic minority in the U.S. yet are often left out of mainstream messaging and are less prepared for disasters than the general population. Results from various studies assessing household preparedness have shown that while older adults are more prepared for disasters; racial/ethnic minorities are primarily less prepared than non-Hispanic whites. Socioeconomic disparities among the elderly Latino population only partially explain the lower levels of preparedness; therefore, there is a critical need for culturally appropriate, evidence-based approaches to increase preparedness, including an emphasis on health communication. Research reveals that those ages 65 and over are more prepared for disasters, however, this assertion does not apply to vulnerable, non-English speaking groups, such as Latinos. Findings from this study of 100 elderly Latinos (over 65) living in Los Angeles, California confirmed the unique awareness, risks perceptions, and disaster preparedness practices for this vulnerable population along with the utilization differences of disaster response resources among elderly Latinos. Recommended culturally appropriate, targeted education and outreach strategies to reduce the impact of natural disasters on the elderly Latino population will be shared.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least three challenges elderly Latinos experience in preparing for disasters. Describe unique cultural characteristics that place elderly Latinos more at risk for natural disasters than than the general population. Discuss ways to provide appropriate disaster preparedness plans for this population based on study findings.

Keyword(s): Disasters, Latino

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 15 years of experience in public health education and research experience in disaster preparedness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.