eCite Digital Repository

Preparing for natural hazards: The role of community trust


Paton, D, Preparing for natural hazards: The role of community trust, Disaster Prevention and Management , 16, (3) pp. 370-379. ISSN 0965-3562 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1108/09653560710758323


Purpose - This paper seeks to examine how perception of the relationship between people and sources of information influence hazard preparedness and how trust in civic emergency planning agencies responsible for risk communication influences preparedness decisions. It aims to hypothesize that: familiarity with and information about hazards predicts the relative importance of trust; and that levels of trust are influenced by community characteristics. Design/methodology/approach - A cross-sectional analysis of the relationship between trust and hazard preparedness was conducted. Hypotheses were tested using data on bushfire, volcanic and earthquake hazards. Data were analysed using multiple regression analyses. Findings - The first hypothesis, that situational factors predict the relative importance of trust, was supported. Partial support was forthcoming for the second hypothesis. Collective problem solving and empowerment predicted levels of trust. Research limitations/ implications - The findings demonstrated the utility of this multi-level model for the analysis of risk communication and need to accommodate societal-level variables in future risk communication research. The source of information plays a role in risk communication that is independent of the information per se. Practical implications - The relationship between people and civic agencies and the information provided must be accommodated in planning risk communication. The analysis provides an evidence-based framework for the development of risk communication strategies based on community engagement principles. Originality/value - This is the first time this multi-level model has been applied to natural hazards and contributes to understanding the contingent nature of the risk communication process. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Social psychology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental education and awareness
UTAS Author:Paton, D (Professor Douglas Paton)
ID Code:48719
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2009-11-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page