Household Preparedness and Preferred Communication Channels in Public Health Emergencies: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Residents in an Asian Developed Urban City
Tam G., Huang Z., Chan E.
Disaster awareness and household preparedness are crucial for reducing the negative effects of a disaster. This study aims to examine the citizens’ preparedness level in the event of a general disaster or outbreak of infectious disease and to identify suitable channels for community disease surveillance and risk communication. We used a stratified random design to conduct a digit-dialed telephone survey in Hong Kong during February 2014. Level of disaster preparedness was examined according to the possession of disaster kit items. Associations between socio-demographic factors and good household preparedness were assessed using multiple logistic regression models. Preferences for infectious disease surveillance were collected and analyzed. There were 1020 respondents. Over half of the respondents (59.2%) had good household preparedness. After adjustment, female respondents, having higher education and higher household income were significantly associated with good household preparedness. Television and telephone were the preferred channels to obtain and report infectious disease information, respectively. In conclusion, general and specific infectious-disease household preparedness levels in Hong Kong were generally good. Tailored preparedness programs targeted to specific communities are necessary for those lacking preparedness. Risk communication and public health surveillance should be conducted through television and telephone, respectively.