Aims: The aims of this study were to explore the perception of disaster among the head of household mainly responsible for family matters of Hong Kong families with young children, and the extent of their preparedness for disasters. Background: Being prepared for disasters can minimize damage to our health, lives, and property. Families with young children are particularly vulnerable during disasters. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to a convenience sample of families with young children in March and September in 2008. Results: A total of 198 out of 220 questionnaires distributed to heads of households were collected and analyzed for this study. Most of the householders (94.4%) considered the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003 to have been a disaster. They considered that the disastrous events most likely to occur in Hong Kong were infectious disease outbreaks (96.5%) and major transport accidents (94.4%). In preparing for unexpected events, these families reported having stocked up on ‘young children’s necessities’ (82.8%, 73.7%) and ‘medications’ (82.8%, 60.1%) sufficient for three and seven days respectively. These families also kept a flashlight with adequate batteries (74.7%), extra blankets (69.2%), and a first aid kit (60.6%) at home for safety. They reported ‘panic buying’ for necessities during previous typhoon strikes (68.2%) and infectious disease outbreaks (46.0%). Only 9.1% considered themselves adequately prepared for disasters (9.1%). Conclusions: Although the families with young children in this study are prepared for disaster to some extent, their preparedness is still considered grossly inadequate and in need of public attention.
- disaster preparedness
- families with young children
- perception of disaster
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health