Evaluating perceived emergency preparedness and household preparedness behaviors: Results from a casper survey in fairfax, virginia

Rennie W. Ferguson, Shawn Kiernan, Ernst W Spannhake, Benjamin Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives:Using data collected from a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) conducted in Fairfax Health District, Virginia, in 2016, we sought to assess the relationship between household-level perceived preparedness and self-reported preparedness behaviors.Methods:Weighted population estimates and 95% confidence intervals were reported, and Pearson's chi-squared test was used to investigate differences by group.Results:Examining responses to how prepared respondents felt their household was to handle a large-scale emergency or disaster, an estimated 7.4% of respondents (95% CI: 4.3-12.3) reported that their household was "completely prepared," 37.3% (95% CI: 31.4-43.7) were "moderately prepared," 38.2% (95% CI: 31.6-45.2) were "somewhat prepared," and 14.4% (95% CI: 10.2-20.0) were "unprepared." A greater proportion of respondents who said that their household was "completely" or "moderately" prepared for an emergency reported engaging in several behaviors related to preparedness. However, for several preparedness behaviors, there were gaps between perceived preparedness and self-reported readiness.Conclusions:Community assessments for public health preparedness can provide valuable data about groups who may be at risk during an emergency due to a lack of planning and practice, despite feeling prepared to handle a large-scale emergency or disaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Casper
  • Community assessment
  • Emergency preparedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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