Natural disasters and mass-casualty events affecting children and families: A description of emergency preparedness and the role of the primary care physician

Robert P. Olympia, Ruby Rivera, Steven Heverley, Uchechi Anyanwu, Madeline Gregorits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Objectives. To determine the compliance of a select number of families with national recommendations for disaster preparedness. Patients and Methods. A questionnaire focusing on knowledge of community evacuation plans and the presence of a family emergency response plan was distributed simultaneously in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and Bronx County, New York. Results. A total of 1024 questionnaires were analyzed, and it was found that 35% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 32-38) of families were familiar with community evacuation plans, and 43% (95% CI = 40-46) had a family emergency response plan. Also, 17% (95% CI = 15-19) of respondents had discussed preparedness with their primary care physician; this subset of respondents was more likely to be familiar with community evacuation plans and was more likely to have a family emergency response plan. Conclusions. These data show that families are, for the most part, not in compliance with national recommendations for preparedness. Families who discussed preparedness with their primary care physician were more likely to be compliant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-698
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010



  • disaster planning
  • emergency preparedness
  • family
  • mass-casualty incidents
  • physician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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