Factors Affecting Household Disaster Preparedness: A Study of the Canadian Context

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This study addresses the issue of household disaster preparedness. This work contributes two elements to disaster research. The first contribution improve the knowledge of the factors that affect household disaster preparedness. The review of literature yielded three categories of variables that can jointly explain household disaster preparedness: household structure, demographics, and risk-perception factors. In this study 19 variables compose these factors. A second contribution constitutes a theoretical exploration of the concept of disaster preparedness. In this work, four different constructs of disaster preparedness were tested. These constructs include material preparedness, preparedness activities, a combined index, and a weighted and combined ... continued below

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Doré, Michel C December 2000.

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  • Doré, Michel C

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Description

This study addresses the issue of household disaster preparedness. This work contributes two elements to disaster research. The first contribution improve the knowledge of the factors that affect household disaster preparedness. The review of literature yielded three categories of variables that can jointly explain household disaster preparedness: household structure, demographics, and risk-perception factors. In this study 19 variables compose these factors. A second contribution constitutes a theoretical exploration of the concept of disaster preparedness. In this work, four different constructs of disaster preparedness were tested. These constructs include material preparedness, preparedness activities, a combined index, and a weighted and combined index. The study presents the logic and methodology of the index construction and validation. The data used in this study came from households in the Montreal Urban Community (MUC) in Canada. A random sample of 1,003 English- and French-speaking heads of households adequately represents the 1.8 million persons within the MUC. An independent survey firm conducted the interviews in 1996. Results show that the weighted combined household disaster preparedness index constitutes the best construct to represent the concepts under study. Study results also reveal that risk-perception variables (attitudinal factors) offered the strongest explanatory power. Household structure and demographic variables collectively explained less than 8% of the dependent variable. The model used in this study yielded a coefficient of determination of .320, explaining 32% of the variance in the household disaster preparedness level. Concluding this study, the discussion offers implications for both disaster managers and researchers. Researchers should add to their analysis the household perspective as a complement to the organizational one. Also, it is clear that many other conceptual issues must be explored in understanding and measuring disaster preparedness. Disaster managers should base their efforts on sound research rather than on misconceptions about social behavior. Such implications can contribute to bridging the gap and also putting into practice the knowledge drawn from this growing and collective effort of studying disasters.

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  • December 2000

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  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:15 p.m.

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  • April 26, 2016, 6:23 p.m.

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Doré, Michel C. Factors Affecting Household Disaster Preparedness: A Study of the Canadian Context, dissertation, December 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2678/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .