Disaster preparedness for children and families: a critical review

  • Ronan K
  • Alisic E
  • Towers B
 et al. 
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Abstract

Preparedness for disasters is universally low; chil- dren 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 tomethodological rig- or, long-term effectiveness, and implementation. Recent re- search reflecting these important challenges is reviewed. At the same time, other recent research documents real potential for these programs, including findings which suggest that in- creased 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.

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Authors

  • Kevin R. Ronan

  • Eva Alisic

  • Briony Towers

  • Victoria A. Johnson

  • David M. Johnston

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