Disaster Preparedness for Children and Families: a Critical Review

  • Kevin R. Ronan
  • Eva Alisic
  • Briony Towers
  • Victoria A. Johnson
  • David M. Johnston
Child and Family Disaster Psychiatry (B Pfefferbaum, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Child and Family Disaster Psychiatry

Abstract

Preparedness for disasters is universally low; children and families are particularly vulnerable groups. Against this backdrop, research on disaster preparedness for children and families is reviewed, with a focus on disaster preparedness and prevention education programs. Following definitions and theory/rationale, research is critically analyzed. While findings indicate a large growth in research in the past 15 years and largely positive findings, significant challenges remain. These challenges include issues related to methodological rigor, long-term effectiveness, and implementation. Recent research reflecting these important challenges is reviewed. At the same time, other recent research documents real potential for these programs, including findings which suggest that increased attention to incorporating theory- and evidence-supported components can enhance outcomes. Thus, despite some important limitations and challenges, research done to date signals promise for these programs in reducing risk and increasing resilience to disasters for children, families, and the households and communities in which they live.

Keywords

Disaster preparedness Prevention Disaster risk reduction (DRR) DRR preparedness education programs Children and families 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin R. Ronan
    • 1
  • Eva Alisic
    • 2
  • Briony Towers
    • 3
  • Victoria A. Johnson
    • 4
  • David M. Johnston
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Human, Health and Social SciencesCQUniversity AustraliaRockhamptonAustralia
  2. 2.Trauma Recovery Lab, Monash Injury Research InstituteMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Risk and Community SafetyRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Joint Centre for Disaster Research, Massey UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand
  5. 5.Joint Centre for Disaster Research, GNS Science/Massey UniversityLower HuttNew Zealand

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