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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-82

Social support and household disaster evacuation readiness in a flood-affected rural village in Tamil Nadu, South India

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, SVMCH and RC, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
4 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K C Premarajan
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry - 605 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_76_18

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the social support and household disaster evacuation readiness among flood-affected households in a rural village of Tamil Nadu. METHODS: We conducted this cross-sectional analytical study in the flood-affected Koonimedu village of Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu, 8 months after the flood. One adult member (age >18 years) from each of the flood-affected households was included and interviewed face to face at his/her house. Information on sociodemographic details, loss of property, and household evacuation readiness plan was obtained using a semistructured pretested questionnaire. Social support was measured using the Crisis Support Scale (CSS). RESULTS: Nearly 60% of the households were still waiting for government assistance for house repair. Less than a quarter of households reported adequate social support. Availability of people to listen to them, able to discuss their thoughts and feelings, and contact with people in similar situations showed improvement after 8 months of flood. CSS score on feeling letdown showed a significant increase 8 months after the flood. Although all the households were ready to evacuate if flood recurs, none have undergone training on disaster preparedness. Majority of the households reported to secure ration card first during evacuation. CONCLUSION: The level of adequate social support during flood as well as 8 months after the flood was low among the study population. Although all households have their own disaster evacuation plan, none have been given information and training on disaster preparedness.

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