Disaster Preparedness in Families With Children With Special Health Care Needs

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Abstract

Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) may present unique challenges for disaster preparedness. This study's objective was to determine the impact of a disaster supply starter kit intervention on preparedness for families of CSHCN. The study was a 1-group pre-post cohort design with consecutive enrollment at the Arkansas Children's Hospital Medical Home Clinic. Pre- and postintervention survey findings were compared using McNemar's test. Of the 249 enrolled, 223 completed the postsurvey. At presurvey, 43% had an Emergency Information Form, compared with 79% at postsurvey (P < .001). At presurvey, 18% had a disaster kit, compared with 99.6% at postsurvey, and 44% added items. Of the 183 respondents who did not have a disaster kit at presurvey, 99% (n = 182) had a disaster kit on postsurvey, and 38% (n = 70) added items. An inexpensive educational disaster supply starter kit may increase preparedness. Further investigation on sustainability and dissemination to other populations is needed.

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