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Flash flood preparedness in Golestan province of Iran: A community intervention trial

Ali Ardalan, MD, PhD, Kourosh Holakouie Naieni, PhD, Mahmood Mahmoodi, PhD, Ali-Mohamad Zanganeh, MD, Abbas-Ali Keshtkar, MD, PhD, Mohamad-Reza Honarvar, MD, MPH, Mohamad-Javad Kabir, MSc


Objective: To evaluate effectiveness of a community- based preparedness program for flash floods
Design: A controlled community intervention trial with preassessment and postassessment.
Setting: Fifteen intervention villages and 16 control villages in Golestan province of Iran
Participants: People more than six years of age.
Intervention: Intervention program consisted assembling Village Disaster Taskforces (VDTs), training of VDTs and community, evacuation drill, and program monitoring.
Main outcome measures: Individual participation in household preparedness actions including, preparedness meeting, risk mapping, preparation of emergency supplies, assisting vulnerable people, and evacuation drill.
Results: Our intervention improved preparedness of local community for flash floods in term of all interested outcome measures. For instance, adjusted odds ratio for participation in an evacuation drill in intervention area in postassessment compared with preassessment was 29.05 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 21.77-38.76), whereas in control area it was 2.69 (95% CI: 1.96-3.70). Difference in these odds ratios was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Participation in a family preparedness meeting and risk mapping were helpful in motivating individuals to take other preparedness actions. Women were found prepared as much as the men.Younger people showed lower participation in preparation of family emergency supplies but higher attendance in evacuation drills. Participation in evacuation drills decreased with increasing age. It was a positive association between risk perception and taking all preparedness actions.
Conclusion: Flood preparedness programs should focus on participatory risk assessment and preparedness techniques, strive to improve risk perception and female capabilities, and ensure providing assistance to the older people during evacuation.


flash floods, community-based, preparedness, Iran

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