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Developing an instrument to measure household radiological emergency preparedness using the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) methodology: An evidence-informed approach

Rennie W. Ferguson, DrPH, MHS, Daniel J. Barnett, MD, MPH, Ryan David Kennedy, PhD, Tara Kirk Sell, PhD, MA, Jessica S. Wieder, Ernst W. Spannhake, PhD

Abstract


Introduction: Community assessments to measure emergency preparedness can inform policies, planning, and communication to the public to improve readiness and response if an emergency was to occur. Public health and emergency management officials need an effective assessment tool to measure community preparedness for a radiological emergency.

Methods: The authors created a survey instrument to collect data on household radiological emergency preparedness that could be implemented using the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) methodology, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To inform the development of the tool, the authors examined existing CASPER surveys, focusing on identifying best practices for creating a survey instrument, as well as analyzing the results of a survey of radiation preparedness experts and state/local health and emergency management officials.

Results: The developed survey tool includes 32 questions covering four domains: communication in an emergency, preparedness planning, physical/behavioral health, and demographics. The instrument captures information related to identified barriers in communicating in a radiological emergency as well as self-reported behaviors that could potentially be influenced through awareness and education.

Discussion: Using the proposed survey instrument and following the existing rapid assessment methodology provided by CASPER, public health and emergency management agencies can collect valuable information on the radiation preparedness needs of their communities, which can then be used to improve household readiness for an emergency.


Keywords


radiation preparedness, community public health assessment, CASPER

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.0583

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