Preparing for an influenza pandemic: policy implications for rural Latino populations

The purpose of this study was to assess influenza preparedness levels among Spanish-speaking adults ages 18 and older in two rural communities in Central California. Data were collected from 209 participants using the 21-item Emergency Preparedness Measurement Scale, an instrument designed and validated for this study. Results suggest that adult Spanish-speaking Latinos are not prepared for a pandemic influenza regardless of their gender, age, number of years living in the United States, education, or income level. Furthermore, study participants cited lack of insurance, limited knowledge about needed emergency supplies, and preference for fresh foods as reasons for lacking emergency supplies at home.