Race and income disparities in disaster preparedness in old age

TitleRace and income disparities in disaster preparedness in old age
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsCox, K, Kim, BR
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
ISSN Number0163-4372
KeywordsEmergency preparedness, Income, Racial/ethnic differences, Women and Minorities

This study investigated to what extent income status and race/ethnicity in old age interplayed with disaster preparedness. Data came from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel survey of older Americans over 51 years old. Our sample was restricted to respondents who participated in a special survey about disaster preparedness (N=1,711). Disaster preparedness was measured as a score, which includes 13 variables. Race/ethnicity was categorized by White, Black, and Hispanic. Low income was defined as below 300% of the federal poverty line. OLS regression was used to examine the main and interaction effects of race/ethnicity and lower income status on disaster preparedness scores. We found that older adults in lower income status had lower preparedness level than those in higher income (Coef. =-0.318, p<.01). Hispanics tend to be less prepared compared to White and Blacks (Coef. =-0.608, p<.001). Preparedness of Black elders was not significantly different from that of Whites. However, interestingly, Black elders in lower income status were significantly less prepared for disaster than other groups (Coef. =- 0.622, p<.05). This study identified vulnerable subgroups of older adults for disaster preparedness and suggests that preparedness programs should target minority and low income elders.

Short TitleJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Citation Key9784
PubMed ID29979948