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Womens Health Issues. 2014 Jan-Feb;24(1):e83-8. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2013.10.006.

Preparedness planning for emergencies among postpartum women in arkansas during 2009.

Author information

  • 1Applied Sciences Branch, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address:
  • 2Applied Sciences Branch, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 3Health Statistics Branch, Center for Public Health Practice, Arkansas Department of Health, Little Rock, Arkansas.



Having an emergency plan may reduce negative effects of disaster on the health of postpartum women and their infants. However, little is known about the prevalence of emergency plans among postpartum women. In 2009, Arkansas added a question to the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System surveillance system about whether women who gave birth that year had an emergency plan. In this study, we first describe the sociodemographic characteristics, disaster experience, and region of residence of postpartum women in Arkansas who indicated that they had an emergency plan for their families in 2009, and second, examine associations between sociodemographic characteristics and disaster experience and the presence of an emergency plan.


Multivariable logistic regression (n = 1,173) was conducted to examine associations between maternal race/ethnicity, sociodemographic characteristics, region of residence, disaster experience, and having a disaster plan. We adjusted for maternal education, federal poverty level, and family size in our final model.


Forty-eight percent (n = 559) of women reported having an emergency plan. Hispanic women were less likely to report having a plan compared with non-Hispanic White women (n = 102 [10%]; adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4-0.9). Families with five or more members were more likely to have a plan compared with smaller families (n = 123 [11%]; aPR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6).


Policymakers and public health practitioners can use these results to promote emergency planning among postpartum women in Arkansas, with special outreach to postpartum women who are Hispanic or have smaller families.

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