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Preparing for natural hazards: normative and attitudinal influences

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 19:03 authored by McIvor, D, Douglas Paton
Purpose - This paper seeks to further develop a model of natural hazard preparedness by examining the role of attitudes to natural hazards and their mitigation and social norms. It aims to examine whether social-cultural factors influence the decisions people make regarding their relationship with natural hazards. Design/methodology/approach - Survey data were collected from 156 residents in Napier, New Zealand. A cross-sectional design was used. Data were analysed using the AMOS 5 structural equation modelling program. Findings - Positive attitudes to hazard mitigation, existing in a social context that advocates adopting protective behaviours, belief in the effectiveness of personal mitigation (outcome expectancy) and good problem solving (action coping) skills increase the likelihood of adopting protective measures for earthquakes. The research identified how attitudes and social norms influence the perception of hazards and how people make preparedness decisions. Research limitations/implications - Further research is needed to examine how hazard attitudes are formed, sustained and organized, as well as how they can be changed to facilitate the sustained adoption of protective measures. Work also needs to be directed to identifying those with whom normative comparisons are made and the relative influence of different referents. Practical implications - The findings argue for a move away from reliance on the passive presentation of information to people and communities that dominates risk communication. Rather, strategies for encouraging and sustaining positive discourse about hazards and their mitigation within a community should be prioritized in future risk communication work. Originality/value - Provides new insights into the relationship between people and natural hazards and provides empirical support for the inclusion of attitudes and social norms in risk communication work. It provides additional support for accommodating the social and cultural context in the development and delivery of risk communication strategies. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Publication title

Disaster Prevention and Management








School of Psychological Sciences


Emerald Group Publishing

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Environmental education and awareness

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