Managing tsunami risk: Social context influences on preparedness

Douglas Paton, Bruce F. Houghton, Chris E. Gregg, David McIvor, David M. Johnston, Petra Bürgelt, Penny Larin, Duane A. Gill, Liesel A. Ritchie, Steven Meinhold, Jennifer Horan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the testing of a model that proposes that people's beliefs regarding the effectiveness of hazard preparedness interact with social context factors (community participation, collective efficacy, empowerment and trust) to influence levels of hazard preparedness. Using data obtained from people living in coastal communities in Alaska and Oregon that are susceptible to experiencing tsunami, structural equation modelling analyses confirmed the ability of the model to help account for differences in levels of tsunami preparedness. Analysis revealed that community members and civic agencies influence preparedness in ways that are independent of the information provided per se. The model suggests that, to encourage people to prepare, outreach strategies must (a) encourage community members to discuss tsunami hazard issues and to identify the resources and information they need to deal with the consequences a tsunami would pose for them and (b) ensure that the community-agency relationship is complementary and empowering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pacific Rim Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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