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Preparedness Needs Assessment in a Rural State

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  • Preparedness Needs Assessment in a Rural State

    Preparedness Needs Assessment in a Rural State
    Themes Derived from Public Focus Groups
    Recent studies have assessed preparedness training and the resource needs of public health and clinical professionals in responding to a crisis, but few have assessed the needs of the general public, especially in rural areas.

    The present study, based in a risk assessment and information-seeking theoretical framework, assessed the preparedness awareness, knowledge, and attitudes of the general public in a rural state through a series of focus groups.

    Six focus groups were conducted with 34 participants in 4 locations in Kansas (2 urban and 2 rural).

    Focus group interviews followed a standardized script. Participants from all 4 locations reported training and knowledge needs and desired training, knowledge, and emergency preparedness plans.

    Certain groups also reported a lack of familiarity with preparedness terminology, as well as different ideas about trusted sources and agencies responsible for providing preparedness training or information.

    Some diverging opinions from these focus groups were stratified by urban/rural status, indicating possible implications for future all-hazards training in rural regions of the nation. These results may be used for planning and improving training for the general public in both urban and rural areas.

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