m.,. - Perman: Household Preparedness Supplies 1...

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Unformatted text preview: Perman: Household Preparedness Supplies 1 International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters March 2011, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 1–25. Disaster Kit Contents: A Comparison of Published Guidelines for Household Preparedness Supplies Joseph Perman Kimberley Shoaf Armine Kourouyan Melissa Kelley Center for Public Health and Disasters University of California, Los Angeles Email: [email protected] Abstract This paper discusses the comprehensiveness and specificity of published guidelines for household disaster kits. A search was conducted via the Internet to identify disaster kit lists, which were then analyzed for major themes and types of contents. While the specificity of recommendations and the number of disaster kit items varied widely across the sampled lists, several key categories of contents were found in the majority of them. The immense variability across the sampled lists suggests that a “gold standard” is necessary for disaster kit guidelines in order to best aid the public in their preparedness efforts. Keywords : Disaster kit contents, emergency preparedness Introduction The events of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina have resulted in heightened attention to emergency response and disaster planning in the United States. It is therefore crucial to reach the public with guidance on appropriate disaster planning and preparedness measures. Health-related information geared towards individuals and households has proliferated on the Internet, facilitating the increased accessibility of disaster preparedness guidelines to the public. Emphasis on households’ ability to remain self-sufficient during a disaster has prompted the publication of guidelines and lists of disaster kits contents. However, just as the sources of such information can vary greatly, so too can the recommendations provided by each source. This study examines the Perman: Household Preparedness Supplies 2 contents of 71 disaster kit guidelines/lists that were published on the Internet, drawing out common themes, deficiencies, and areas for consideration. Specifically, disaster kit lists were evaluated for their comprehensiveness (e.g., encompassing a wide or narrow array of supplies), and their specificity (e.g., providing vague or precise item recommendations). Background The Need for Disaster Kits The need for individuals and households to be prepared for emergencies and disasters has been stated by government agencies and non-governmental organizations alike (FEMA 2004; NHC 2009; ARC 2009; SBA 2009; WHO 2007; CDC 2009; Louisiana 2009). Emergency assistance for the public may not be immediately available following a disaster, as seen in disaster response efforts in recent years (FEMA 2006). In the case of Hurricane Katrina, some Gulf Coast victims were unable to receive either rescue or aid for a week or more, a product both of inaccessibility to the areas, as well as a poor disaster response (Waugh 2006). While the public may want or expect immediate assistance, this is likely not to be the case. Due to the need to respond to potentially assistance, this is likely not to be the case....
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course COMM 321 taught by Professor Erinmcclellan during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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m.,. - Perman: Household Preparedness Supplies 1...

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