Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks

By Lynn E. Davis; Tom Latourrette et al. | Go to book overview

Appendix C
FOCUS GROUP METHODS AND RESULTS

In January 2003, RAND convened focus groups in two cities (Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.) to obtain community feedback on our initial ideas for individual preparedness and response strategies for catastrophic terrorism. The overall purpose of these focus group discussions was to inform the project's recommendations for an individual's strategy for catastrophic terrorism.


FOCUS GROUP RECRUITMENT AND STRUCTURE

Individuals were contacted by a recruitment firm and invited to participate in a discussion at the RAND offices in Santa Monica, California, or Arlington, Virginia. Recruitment was stratified into two groups by socioeconomic status (SES) based on household income and education: one group had annual incomes of less than $40,000 and no education beyond high school and the other had annual incomes greater than $40,000 and a college education. Participants were screened for eligibility; criteria included being at least 18 years old, English speaking, not currently employed by government or in a first responder capacity, and lack of evident of posttraumatic stress disorder. Participants were recruited to represent parental status (at least four parents or guardians of children under 18 per group) and gender (approximately half men and half women). A $75 payment was given for participation. There were a total of four groups, held on January 6, 2003 (Los Angeles), January 7, 2003 (Los Angeles), January 21, 2003 (Washington), and January 23, 2003 (Washington).

Each focus group consisted of a two-hour discussion organized into three phases: general risk perceptions, feedback on specific terrorism events (scenarios and the project's recommended actions) and personal preparedness actions and communication strategies. We organized the discussion in this manner to get individuals comfortable talking about risks and sharing information about their concerns before presenting detailed information about terrorism. The purposes of the discussion are highlighted below with a brief description of how each issue was addressed.

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Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xi
  • Summary xiii
  • Acknowledgments xxv
  • Acronyms xxvii
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Scenario Approach to Developing an Individual's Strategy 7
  • Chapter Three - An Individuals Strategy 21
  • Chapter Four - Conclusions 63
  • Appendex A - Catastrophic Terrorism Scenarios 71
  • Appendix B - Emergency Guidelines 125
  • Appendix C - Focus Group Methods and Results 143
  • Appendix D - A Review of the Risk–perception and Risk–communication Literature 147
  • Bibliography 153
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