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Disaster Preparedness: Limitations in Federal Evacuation Assistance for Health Facilities Should be Addressed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Hurricane Katrina demonstrated difficulties involved in evacuating communities and raised questions about how hospitals and nursing homes plan for evacuations and how the federal government assists. Due to broad-based congressional interest, GAO assessed the evacuation of hospital patients and nursing home residents. Under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative, GAO examined (1) the challenges hospital and nursing home administrators faced, (2) the extent to which limitations exist in the design of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to assist with patient evacuations, and (3) the federal requirements for hospital and nursing home disaster and evacuation planning. GAO reviewed documents and interviewed federal officials, and interviewed hospital and nursing home administrators and state and local officials in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi and Hurricane Charley in Florida."
Date: July 20, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disaster Preparedness: Preliminary Observations on the Evacuation of Vulnerable Populations due to Hurricanes and Other Diasasters

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Hurricane Katrina struck near the Louisiana-Mississippi border and became one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, affecting a large geographic area and necessitating the evacuation of people from parts of the area, including vulnerable populations, such as hospital patients, nursing home residents and transportation-disadvantaged populations who were not in such facilities. The disaster highlighted the challenges involved in evacuating vulnerable populations due to hurricanes. GAO was asked to discuss efforts to plan and prepare for the needs of seniors in the event of a national emergency. GAO describes its ongoing work on evacuation in the event of emergencies, such as hurricanes, and provides preliminary observations on (1) challenges faced by hospital and nursing home administrators that are related to hurricane evacuations; (2) the federal program that supports the evacuation of patients needing hospital care and nursing home residents; and (3) challenges states and localities face in preparing for and carrying out the evacuation of transportation-disadvantaged populations and efforts to address evacuation needs. This testimony is based in part on a prior GAO report, Disaster Preparedness: Preliminary Observations on the Evacuation of Hospitals and Nursing Homes Due to Hurricanes, GAO-06-443R (February 16, 2006)."
Date: May 18, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measuring Disaster Preparedness: FEMA Has Made Limited Progress in Assessing National Capabilities

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)--a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)--to measure and assess national capabilities to respond to a major disaster. According to the Congressional Research Service, from fiscal years 2002 through 2010, Congress appropriated over $34 billion for homeland security preparedness grant programs to enhance the capabilities of state, territory, local, and tribal governments to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters. Congress enacted the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (Post-Katrina Act) to address shortcomings in the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina that, among other things, gave FEMA responsibility for leading the nation in developing a national preparedness system. The Post-Katrina Act requires that FEMA develop a national preparedness system and assess preparedness capabilities--capabilities needed to respond effectively to disasters--to determine the nation's preparedness capability levels and the resources needed to achieve desired levels of capability. Federal, state, and local resources provide capabilities for different levels of "incident effect" (i.e., the extent of damage caused by a natural or manmade disaster). FEMA's National Preparedness Directorate within its Protection and National Preparedness organization is responsible for developing and implementing a system for measuring and assessing national preparedness capabilities. The need to define measurable national preparedness capabilities is a well-established and recognized issue. For example, in December 2003, the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities noted that preparedness (for combating terrorism) requires measurable demonstrated capacity by communities, states, and private sector entities throughout the United States to respond to threats with well-planned, well-coordinated, and effective efforts. This is consistent with our April 2002 testimony on national preparedness, in which we identified the need for goals and performance indicators ...
Date: March 17, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Exploratory Study of the Comprehension, Retention and Action of the Denton County Older Population in Regards to Disaster Preparedness Education

Description: The purpose of this exploratory study was to operationalize the responses from a sample of the community dwelling older population from Denton County, Texas on disaster preparedness education given by Denton County Health Department (DCHD) personnel. The goals and objectives were drawn from the Texas Public Health and Medical Emergency Management 5-Year Strategic Plan 2012-2016. It was hypothesized that after the disaster preparedness education was received, then comprehension, retention, and application of the information would increase and the goals set forth by the DCHD would be reached. Thirteen sites were used to educate the 224 participants between August 2011 and April 2012. The data were received using a pre-test survey before the training, a post-test immediately after the training, and a follow-up survey call approximately 30 days later. Using Cronbach's alpha, logistic regression and regression analysis through SAS, the data revealed that all DCHD goals were met by this training method and outcome which include the sample population increasing comprehension, retention, and action on the information learned.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Knight, Rebekah P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factors Affecting Household Disaster Preparedness: A Study of the Canadian Context

Description: This study addresses the issue of household disaster preparedness. This work contributes two elements to disaster research. The first contribution improve the knowledge of the factors that affect household disaster preparedness. The review of literature yielded three categories of variables that can jointly explain household disaster preparedness: household structure, demographics, and risk-perception factors. In this study 19 variables compose these factors. A second contribution constitutes a theoretical exploration of the concept of disaster preparedness. In this work, four different constructs of disaster preparedness were tested. These constructs include material preparedness, preparedness activities, a combined index, and a weighted and combined index. The study presents the logic and methodology of the index construction and validation. The data used in this study came from households in the Montreal Urban Community (MUC) in Canada. A random sample of 1,003 English- and French-speaking heads of households adequately represents the 1.8 million persons within the MUC. An independent survey firm conducted the interviews in 1996. Results show that the weighted combined household disaster preparedness index constitutes the best construct to represent the concepts under study. Study results also reveal that risk-perception variables (attitudinal factors) offered the strongest explanatory power. Household structure and demographic variables collectively explained less than 8% of the dependent variable. The model used in this study yielded a coefficient of determination of .320, explaining 32% of the variance in the household disaster preparedness level. Concluding this study, the discussion offers implications for both disaster managers and researchers. Researchers should add to their analysis the household perspective as a complement to the organizational one. Also, it is clear that many other conceptual issues must be explored in understanding and measuring disaster preparedness. Disaster managers should base their efforts on sound research rather than on misconceptions about social behavior. Such implications can contribute to ...
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Doré, Michel C
Partner: UNT Libraries

Disaster Experience and Self-efficacy As Factors Influencing Emergency Planning in Community-dwelling Older Adults

Description: This study design was to identify and examine how disaster experience, self-efficacy, and demographic factors influence disaster preparedness in community-dwelling older adults. Current data indicates the United States is rapidly aging. Parallel to this significant increase among the elderly population, natural disasters are more prevalent. Consequently, older adults are affected adversely by these disasters and exposure to social vulnerabilities during the disaster cycle. For the purpose of this study, non-identifiable secondary data were analyzed. Sources of the data were the 2007 and 2008 National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveys. The sample focus of this study was adults 50 and older. Regression analyses identified important predictors of disaster preparedness in the survey respondents. Sample adults with previous disaster experience are two times more likely to be in a higher category for having an emergency plan than those respondents with no observable effects of self-efficacy and no previous disaster experience. The frequency of natural disasters in the United States has generated a renewed interest in disaster management, in particular, disaster preparedness. Nevertheless, the focal point of disaster preparedness is no longer the rudimentary stockpile of water, a first aid kit, and a battery operated radio. To advance the field of disaster management it is vital for gerontologist to approach disaster preparedness by differentiating between stockpiling supplies and social cognitive interventions that fundamentally alters preparedness behavior.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Symonette, Erika
Partner: UNT Libraries

Disaster Preparedness: Better Planning Would Improve OSHA's Efforts to Protect Workers' Safety and Health in Disasters

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Concerns about the safety and health of workers involved in the response to Hurricane Katrina included their exposure to contaminated floodwaters and injuries from working around debris. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for coordinating federal efforts to protect the safety and health of workers involved in the response to large national disasters. Under the Comptroller General's authority, GAO initiated a number of Katrina-related reviews. For this review, GAO examined (1) what is known about the number of response and recovery workers deployed to the Gulf Coast in response to Hurricane Katrina; (2) the extent to which OSHA tracked injuries and illnesses sustained by these workers; and (3) how well OSHA met the safety and health needs of workers. To address these issues, GAO reviewed reports; analyzed data; interviewed federal, state, and local officials; and conducted site visits."
Date: March 28, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Disaster Preparedness: Preliminary Observations on the Evacuation of Hospitals and Nursing Homes Due to Hurricanes

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "During disasters, administrators of health care facilities are faced with decisions about how to operate and care for patients, including when and how to evacuate patients if the facility becomes unable to support adequate care, treatment, or services. Hospitals and nursing homes are required to have plans in place that describe how they will operate during emergencies. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were incidents of national significance that highlighted the challenges involved in evacuating vulnerable populations, including those in hospitals and nursing homes. Federal officials used the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to help evacuate patients due to Hurricane Katrina--the first time the system has been used to evacuate such a large number of patients. Formed in 1984, NDMS is a partnership among the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We have begun work to assess the evacuation of hospital and nursing home patients due to disasters. We are performing this work under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative. To conduct our review, we obtained information on (1) who is responsible for deciding to evacuate hospitals and nursing homes, (2) what issues administrators consider when deciding to evacuate hospitals and nursing homes, and (3) what federal response capabilities support the evacuation of hospitals and nursing homes. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions requested a briefing on the preliminary observations of our review. We briefed the committee with other committees of jurisdiction on February 16, 2006. This report documents our preliminary views as presented in those briefings."
Date: February 16, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tsunami Risk Reduction for the United States: A Framework for Action

Description: This document describes proposals for making communities better prepared and more resilient to catastrophic natural disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2006. Methods described include warning systems, data sharing, and land use decisions.
Date: December 2005
Creator: National Science and Technology Council (U.S.). Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction.
Partner: UNT Libraries

[News Clip: Civil defense]

Description: Video footage from the KXAS-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, to accompany a news story. This story aired at 5 P.M.
Date: October 30, 1980
Creator: KXAS-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[News Script: Disaster]

Description: Script from the WBAP-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, covering a news story about St. Joseph Hospital holding a disaster drill to help prepare for future emergencies; the hospital is joined by ROTC cadets from Polytechnic High School, airmen from Carswell Air Force Base, and crews from city ambulance services.
Date: October 18, 1964
Creator: WBAP-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections