British Disaster-Related “Do Not Drink” Study Contains Interesting Conclusions

ASDWA has been alerted to the publication of an interesting research paper by Dr. Gabriella Rundblad and colleagues from the Department of Education and Professional Studies at Kings College, London and the University of East Anglia (Norwich) School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice.  The subject of the study was public reaction to “do not drink” and “boil water” notices during times of public emergency or natural disaster.

 As the paper’s abstract suggests, “During times of public health emergencies, effective communication between the emergency response agencies and the affected public is important to ensure that people protect themselves from injury or disease.”  These researchers determined to evaluate public understanding and acceptance of such notices after an extended water supply emergency in Gloucestershire UK.  After conducting a study, survey, and analysis, the researchers concluded that, “Higher noncompliance during the “Do Not Drink” notice was traced to the public’s limited knowledge of water notices and their folk beliefs about the protection offered from boiling water.”

 You may read the full report (about 24 pages) by clicking on the link below that will take you to the BioMedCentral (BMC) Public Health publications website:

Communication, perception and behaviour during a natural disaster involving a ‘Do Not Drink’ and a subsequent ‘Boil Water’ notice: a postal questionnaire study

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