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Assessing Emergency Preparedness and Response Capacity Using Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response Methodology: Portsmouth, Virginia, 2013

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2016

Katie M. Kurkjian*
Affiliation:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, assigned to Virginia Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology, Division of Surveillance and Investigation, Richmond, Virginia
Michelle Winz
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Portsmouth Health District, Portsmouth, Virginia
Jun Yang
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology, Division of Surveillance and Investigation, Richmond, Virginia
Kate Corvese
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology, Division of Surveillance and Investigation, Richmond, Virginia
Ana Colón
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology, Division of Surveillance and Investigation, Norfolk, Virginia
Seth J. Levine
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Office of Epidemiology, Division of Surveillance and Investigation, Richmond, Virginia
Jessica Mullen
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Portsmouth Health District, Portsmouth, Virginia
Donna Ruth
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Portsmouth Health District, Portsmouth, Virginia
Rexford Anson-Dwamena
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Office of Family Health Services, Richmond, Virginia
Tesfaye Bayleyegn
Affiliation:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Health Studies Branch, Atlanta, Georgia.
David S. Chang
Affiliation:
Virginia Department of Health, Portsmouth Health District, Portsmouth, Virginia
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to Katie Kurkjian, DVM, MPH, Virginia Department of Health, 109 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219 (e-mail: Katie.Kurkjian@vdh.virginia.gov).

Abstract

Objective

For the past decade, emergency preparedness campaigns have encouraged households to meet preparedness metrics, such as having a household evacuation plan and emergency supplies of food, water, and medication. To estimate current household preparedness levels and to enhance disaster response planning, the Virginia Department of Health with remote technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a community health assessment in 2013 in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Methods

Using the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) methodology with 2-stage cluster sampling, we randomly selected 210 households for in-person interviews. Households were questioned about emergency planning and supplies, information sources during emergencies, and chronic health conditions.

Results

Interview teams completed 180 interviews (86%). Interviews revealed that 70% of households had an emergency evacuation plan, 67% had a 3-day supply of water for each member, and 77% had a first aid kit. Most households (65%) reported that the television was the primary source of information during an emergency. Heart disease (54%) and obesity (40%) were the most frequently reported chronic conditions.

Conclusions

The Virginia Department of Health identified important gaps in local household preparedness. Data from the assessment have been used to inform community health partners, enhance disaster response planning, set community health priorities, and influence Portsmouth’s Community Health Improvement Plan. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:193–198)

Type
Brief Reports
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2016 

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Footnotes

Ms Corvese is now with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Division of State and Local Readiness, Atlanta, Georgia.

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