In the event of an incident involving the release of hazardous material (eg, chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents), key actions can be taken to reduce harm and protect the people involved. The quicker actions can be taken, the less harm will occur. Guidance is, therefore, needed to help nonspecialist members of the public to act rapidly before emergency responders arrive. The "Remove, Remove, Remove"campaign includes critical information for anyone who is at or near the immediate scene of a hazardous material release. Using a representative sample of 1,000 members of the UK population, this study examined the impact of the information campaign on knowledge and perceptions both before and during the immediate response to an incident. Findings showed that perceptions of the information were positive, with respondents stating that the information was useful and that the recommended actions would be effective. Respondents also stated they would be willing and able to perform the actions during a real incident. Additionally, the respondents' knowledge and confidence in taking protective actions increased significantly after receiving the campaign information, and they overwhelmingly agreed that they would want to receive this information if it were available before an incident. The findings of the survey support the use of the "Remove, Remove, Remove"information before and during hazardous materials incidents.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King’s College London in partnership with Public Health England, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia and Newcastle University. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, National Institute for Health Research, Department of Health and Social Care, or Public Health England.
- Mass emergency
- Preincident information
- Psychological impacts
- Public health preparedness/response
- Risk communication
- Public health preparedness