We conducted a review of the literature pertaining to the use of risk communication strategies for vulnerable populations in any stages of emergency preparedness, response, or recovery. Our review included peer-reviewed citations published in English since January 1, 2000. Forty citations were deemed relevant for inclusion in this review; for a detailed description of our inclusion criteria, please see Appendix A1.
Statutes and Regulations
In addition to peer-reviewed literature, we also reviewed selected statutes, regulations, and other related government or organizational reports.[2, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16] Because statutes and regulations are primarily intended as guidance documents for states and localities, they are traditionally not found in the on-line databases for published, peer-reviewed literature, and it is therefore difficult to conduct a systematic search of these documents. To identify relevant guidance documents and other reports, we relied upon direction from the Task Order Monitor and a targeted web search (Federal Government sites and sites of organizations focused on vulnerable populations) to identify appropriate statutes, regulations, and other reports for review. In addition to the documents requested for review in the Task Order (The Joint Commission’s “Standing Together: An Emergency Planning Guide for America’s Communities” and the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities’ (CARF's) “CARF Guide to Accessibility”), the following documents were included in the review:
The NRP (retrieved from the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] website).
Chapter 68 (Disaster Relief) of Title 42 (Public Health and Welfare) (retrieved from the U.S. House of Representatives Downloadable U.S. Code website).
“The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned” (retrieved from the White House website).
Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (retrieved from the Library of Congress).
The Report on Special Needs Assessment for Katrina Evacuees (SNAKE) Project (retrieved from the National Organization on Disability website).
“Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism” (retrieved from the Trust for America’s Health website).
Executive Order 13347: “Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness” (retrieved from the White House website).
“Just in Case: Emergency Readiness for Older Adults and Caregivers” (retrieved from the Administration on Aging website).
Literature Search Methods
We used a Data Abstraction Form (DAF) to facilitate a systematic evaluation of each document reviewed. Specifically, the DAF was used to record information from the citations included in the review (peer-reviewed literature and statutes/regulations). The DAF was developed by the research team to capture standard elements regarding quality and content (e.g., type of vulnerable population addressed). For a detailed description of the development of the DAF, a complete copy of the form, and our analytic strategy, please see Appendix A2.
For most DAF items, more than one category within each item could be selected to characterize the literature (e.g., one citation could address more than one vulnerable population); therefore, count data are presented in the Results, rather than percentages. This strategy makes it possible to have more counts across categories than citations reviewed; that is, because one citation could address more than one vulnerable population, the count of vulnerable populations addressed within all 40 citations reviewed could be greater than 40. Once the review research team conducted a pilot test of the DAF to ensure inter-rater reliability regarding consistency of data abstraction and to determine whether the categories adequately captured data from the literature, the remaining citations were divided among the team for full review. The DAF enabled quantitative analyses (frequencies and crosstabs) to characterize the literature, as well as qualitative analyses of the content of each citation included in the review.
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