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This article conceptualized emergency preparedness as a complex, multidimensional construct and empirically examined an array of sociodemographic, motivation, and barrier variables as predictors of levels of emergency preparedness.
The authors used the 2010 wave of the Health and Retirement Study’s emergency preparedness module to focus on persons 50 years old and older in the United States by use of logistic regression models and reconsidered a previous analysis.
The models demonstrated 3 key findings: (1) a lack of preparedness is widespread across virtually all sociodemographic variables and regions of the country; (2) an authoritative voice, in the role of health care personnel, was a strong predictor of preparedness; and (3) previous experience in helping others in a disaster predisposes individuals to be better prepared. Analyses also suggest the need for caution in creating simple summative indexes and the need for further research into appropriate measures of preparedness.
This population of older persons was generally not well prepared for emergencies, and this lack of preparedness was widespread across social, demographic, and economic groups in the United States. Findings with implications for policy and outreach include the importance of health care providers discussing preparedness and the use of experienced peers for outreach. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:80–89)
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