My Community, My Preparedness: The Role of Sense of Place, Community, and Confidence in Government in Disaster Readiness

August 2016 (VOL. 34, NO. 2)

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Preparedness for disasters is low in most populations, despite evidence that preparedness can reduce loss of life in hazard events. To better understand this lack of preparedness, the present study investigates how sense of community, sense of place, confidence in government, preparedness self-efficacy, and risk perception relate to household disaster preparedness. Preparedness self-efficacy and sense of community were found to be positive and significant predictors of preparedness. Risk perception was also found to be a partial mediator on preparedness self-efficacy with preparedness as the outcome variable. Implications for this project include the possible benefit of harnessing community connectedness (i.e., sense of community) and preparedness efficacy to enhance preparedness initiatives among neighbourhoods and households. Clarifying the role of trust in government in disaster events remains important in understanding the complexities of predicting preparedness behaviours.