The effects of confidence in government and information on perceived and actual preparedness for disasters

Victoria Basolo, Laura J. Steinberg, Raymond J. Burby, Joyce Levine, Ana Maria Cruz, Chihyen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research examines perceived and actual preparedness for two types of natural hazard risks: earthquakes in the Los Angeles County area and hurricanes within the New Orleans metropolitan area. Using data collected from a sample of households in these regions, the influence of individuals' confidence in local government to manage a disaster and exposure to disaster preparedness information sources were tested as explanations for levels of perceived and actual preparedness. Regression analyses show that a high level of confidence in local government to manage a disaster and exposure to more preparedness information sources were associated with a higher level of perceived preparedness. No support for a potential dampening effect of confidence in local government on household preparedness actions was found. The results also reveal only limited support for the impact of information exposure on actual preparedness. The results for actual preparedness vary between the study areas; therefore, we follow the analysis with a discussion of these differences and the implications drawn from the research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-364
Number of pages27
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disasters
  • Natural hazards
  • Preparedness
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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