Assessment of Emergency Preparedness of Households in Israel for War-Current Status.

Disaster medicine and public health preparedness

PubMedID: 25940001

Bodas M, Siman-Tov M, Kreitler S, Peleg K. Assessment of Emergency Preparedness of Households in Israel for War-Current Status. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2015;1-9.
OBJECTIVE
In recent decades, many efforts have been made, both globally and locally, to enhance household preparedness for emergencies. In the State of Israel in particular, substantial investment has been made throughout the years in preparing the population for one of the major threats to the civilian population-a rapidly deteriorating regional conflict that involves high-trajectory weapons (ie, rocket and missile fire) launched at the home front. The purpose of this study was to examine the current preparedness level of the Israeli public for this threat and determine the correlates of such preparedness with known factors.

METHODS
A telephone-based, random sampling of 503 households representative of the Israeli population was carried out during October 2013. The questionnaire examined the level of household preparedness as well as attitudes towards threat perception, responsibility, willingness to search for information, and sense of preparedness. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the level of preparedness in the general population and to find correlates to this preparedness in attitudes and demographic variables.

RESULTS
More than half of the sample reported complying with 50% or fewer of the actions recommended by the Israeli Home Front Command. Having an increased sense of preparedness and willingness to search for related information were positively correlated with actual household preparedness, and the latter was also found to be the most predictive variable of household preparedness.

CONCLUSIONS
Although the overall household preparedness reported is mediocre, the level of preparedness found in this study suggests better preparedness of the population in Israel for its primary threat. The findings suggest that in order to promote preparedness of the Israeli public for war, emphasis should be put on increasing the public demand for information and encouraging people to evaluate their sense of preparedness. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:382-390).