Posted on Jun 19, 2024 in Newsroom

HONOLULU —The Department of Health (DOH) Kauaʻi District Health Office (KDHO) has released its report of the 2024 Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) survey. KDHO conducted door-to-door surveys June 3-7, 2024, at randomly selected households islandwide. Over the course of five days, survey teams completed a total of 177 interviews, collecting valuable data about Kauaʻi residents’ health and well-being, their preparedness for emergencies, and their concerns about climate change impacts.

The CASPER survey is a validated needs assessment methodology developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rapidly obtain population-based estimates about the health and resource needs of a community pre- and post-disaster. This is the seventh CASPER survey conducted on Kauaʻi since 2017. “KDHO makes this report available for partners and the public, both as information about our community and as a tool to inform outreach, education, programs and policies. We strive to improve life on Kauaʻi and our community preparedness,” said Kauaʻi District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman.   

The 2024 Kauaʻi CASPER survey asked Kauaʻi residents about their basic household demographics, emergency evacuation plans, concerns about climate change impacts, fire prevention measures, infectious disease concerns, and general health and well-being, including challenges they face in daily life.

Survey results show that Kauaʻi households remain familiar with emergency preparedness recommendations and their evacuation plans have not changed significantly from prior CASPER surveys.

  • There was a significant increase this year in residents who indicated that concern about leaving pets behind would be a barrier to evacuating if advised to do so, from 8% in 2022 to 19% this year.
  • Most Kauaʻi households have working fire extinguishers and smoke detectors and have taken at least some measures to protect their homes from wildfires. Additionally, most have more than one route to leave their neighborhood by car if they had to evacuate for an emergency, although 38% have only one exit route.
  • Just over half of households said they were “somewhat concerned” about climate change impacts on extreme heat, water quality, severe weather and flooding, wildfires and drought. The remaining households were more likely to be unconcerned about these impacts, with the smallest percentage being very concerned. Nearly half (48%) of households discuss climate change at least monthly.
  • The majority of households on Kauaʻi continue to think that it is very important to stay up to date on recommended vaccines, although the percentage who think it is not important to do so has increased from 5% in 2019 to 14% in 2024.
  • Kauaʻi households describe themselves as having good or very good physical health (82%) and mental health (85%). Collecting this information for the first time in 2024 will allow DOH to assess future disaster impacts on the Kauaʻi community by creating a baseline to which future changes in physical and mental health can be compared.
  • The greatest challenges households face are housing (22%), traffic (16%) and medical care (16%).

CASPER surveys have been an enormous capacity-building exercise for DOH and partner agencies, allowing collaboration across programs while increasing community awareness of agencies and services available to the community. More than 100 DOH staff from Kauaʻi and Oʻahu and community volunteers have been trained in conducting a CASPER survey.

The 2024 Kauaʻi CASPER Report is available here:  https://health.hawaii.gov/kauai/files/2024/06/Kauai-2024-CASPER-Final-Report.pdf

Previous CASPER Reports are available here:  https://health.hawaii.gov/kauai/Casper/

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