Journal Article

Kleier, J. A., Krause, D., & Ogilby, T. (2018). Hurricane preparedness among elderly residents in South Florida. Public Health Nursing, 35(1), 3-9.

Article Summary

Kleier, Krause, and Ogilby (2018) conducted a study to establish factors connected with hurricane preparation. The authors further wanted to examine the theoretical framework of hurricane preparation decisions. Hence, they used a sample of older adults living in a region with a high risk of hurricane. The researchers conducted a descriptive, correlational study using a sample of 188 English-speaking, which was selected conveniently from among residents of a high-risk aged 55 years or older. The results of the article supported the hurricane preparation decision theoretical model and established barriers to preparation, including cost and the need for cooperation in the preparation process. The residents reported that they would shelter against a storm, but were unprepared if the storm damaged their homes or if they were forced to evacuate. The findings have implications for nurses to work with elderly residents to implement interventions that would prepare them in case of a storm.

The Implication of the Results

The article contains essential information that nurses and other emergency responders and caregivers can use to support preparedness in case of an impending hurricane. It includes the importance of being prepared in such cases to prevent extensive damage and loss of lives, especially among older and vulnerable residents of high-risk geographical regions (Kim & Zakour, 2017). Since the residents confirmed that the need for cooperation from other people to help in preparation is the leading barrier, it would be essential for caregivers to provide the necessary support, including critical information to improve preparations (FEMA, 2014). Collaborating in the process reduces the burden from a single person, especially if he or she is aged and weak. Nurses and other caregivers can apply the results of the article to understand ways of increasing hurricane preparation (ANA, 2013). They can play a critical role in reducing damage to life and property in case of a storm or any other emergency event. The article is a reliable source of evidence for nurses and other professionals working in the area of disaster preparedness and response.

Limitations of the Article

Regardless of the strength of evidence in the article, it has some flaws that the researchers and other readers should recognize and address in future studies. One of the weaknesses entails the recruitment process, which affected generalizability. Kleier et al. (2018) recruited a convenient sample from homogenous geographical areas. However, the sample failed to cover the racial/ethnic diversity of the wider southern part of Florida adequately. Besides, the study did not include weak and dependent elders and instead used those who could conduct their daily activities. Another limitation is the use of one type of natural disaster, hurricane, while various other events, such as earthquakes and tornados, affect decision making about preparation. Since some of the events lack adequate warning information, the result of the study might fail to be generalized in other types of disasters.

Recommendations to the Authors

Overall, Kleier et al. (2018) can expand the findings of the article by addressing some of the flaws identified. First, they can recruit a sample of participants representing the racial/ethnic diversity in the target geographic location. They should also collect data from both healthy and frail elders because they are likely to present differing data. They should collect information from those going about their daily activities and the homebound, frail elderly.

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