Using A Disaster Preparedness Triangle Framework To Link Disaster Preparedness To Pandemic Outcomes

November 2017 (VOL. 35, NO. 3)

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In order to demonstrate that disaster preparedness is associated with improved outcomes in pandemics, we use secondary source mortality data from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and correlate that to individual U.S. states’ disaster preparedness data based upon the TFAH (Trust for America’s Health) 2009 report. To understand impact of different disaster preparedness parameters, we categorize them into sub-categories of detection, inventory and capacity. Our analyses using the proposed framework show that overall disaster preparedness for each US state was associated with reduced H1N1-related mortality attesting to the benefits of preparedness for unpredictable events like influenza pandemics. Furthermore, elements of the disaster preparedness triangle were found to be strong predictors of pandemic mortality, indicating that investments made towards disaster preparation are in the best interests of society.