Household Response to Warnings

March 1983 (VOL. 1, NO. 1)

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By use of a two-stage decision-model, the effect of family structure on household response to natural hazard warnings is examined for a sample of 429 Mobile, Alabama residents interviewed after Hurricane Frederic in 1979. The basic hypothesis that is examined is that the manner in which residents decide to evacuate differs depending on the structural characteristics of the household. Results show that the complete nuclear family--father, mother, and children--appears to respond much more like relatively isolated groups, relying on their own interpretation of warning information, in contrast to what may be labelled as incomplete nuclear families--married couples without children and single residents living alone--who rely on their prior perceptions of risk and their social contacts with other significant persons.