Online Program

Engaging community partners for knowledge to action translation of personal preparedness

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tracy Thomas, MSc, MPH, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Joan Cioffi, PhD, MS, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Michelle Leander-Griffith, MPH, CHES, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Learning Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Victoria Harp, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Given the likelihood of Americans being impacted by disasters, organizations emphasize mitigating vulnerabilities through personal preparedness.  Despite messaging, studies show limited growth in becoming personally prepared and questions remain as to the most effective strategies for increasing personal preparedness. 

Grounded in the Trans-theoretical stages of change theory, Ready CDC, an intervention to encourage staff to become personally prepared, was piloted.  Ready CDC engaged community stakeholders from Georgia and local emergency management agencies and American Red Cross to foster community partnerships and garner subject matter expertise to inform development of the intervention.  The resulting product consisted of a pre-survey, a 1-hour partner-led workshop with an optional question and answer session, three behavioral reinforcements, and a post-survey. 

During Sept., 2013 to Dec., 2014, 7 workshops of conveniently sampled staff (n=179) were held to increase awareness and self-efficacy and advance the stage of readiness towards personal preparedness.  Pre- and post-data were collected from 87 (47%) staff.   Analyses showed a 21% increase in awareness of local/county warning sirens and a 7% and 13% increase in self-efficacy for assembling an emergency kit and developing a written plan, respectively (all p<0.001). For participants not in the ‘maintenance’ stage at baseline (n=80), readiness progression for assembling a kit was determined for 44% (n=35, p<0.001).  Similarly, 36 of 84 (43%) participants increased readiness for developing a written plan (p<0.001).


Ready CDC is an effective model that can be readily implemented by other organizations.  Additional analyses suggest community partner engagement is an effective strategy for increasing personal preparedness behaviors.   

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe phases of the Knowledge to Action Framework Define the evidence-based elements of an effective personal preparedness health promotion intervention Explain roles of the community partners in the Knowledge to Action translation phase of the personal preparedness intervention

Keyword(s): Emergency Preparedness, Wellness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the senior scientist of initiatives and programs aimed at advancing public health preparedness and practice. Additionally, I have led the engagement of traditional and non-traditional partners enhancing the priorities of the agency, including 14 accredited college and university graduate programs in public health, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), and the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health.
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.