Taking ACTION: Identifying factors that affect public willingness to engage in emergency preparedness activities

Lauren Swan‐Keig, Sara Waring*, Laurence Alison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

With the scope and severity of disasters continuing to grow, encouraging public engagement in emergency preparedness activities is becoming increasingly important. Recently, this has included governments introducing emergency alert systems to warn people of nearby danger to life. However, to date, little research focus has been directed towards understanding what mechanisms affect public willingness to engage in preparing for emergencies. Accordingly, this study aims to improve understanding of what social and cognitive factors impact public willingness to take action to prepare for emergencies. Data was collected from 157 members of the public in one region of the UK using focus groups (N = 36) and questionnaires (N = 121). Thematic analysis of data highlighted six key themes of importance for improving public engagement in emergency preparedness activities: (i) provide information that allows people to Assess potential risks; (ii) Create a sense of community and responsibility; (iii) use Trustworthy sources; (iv) Inform the public regularly about risk updates; (v) provide feasible and practical information on how to Overcome risks; and (vi) Normalize engagement (‘ACTION’). Findings pose important implications for emergency planning theory and practice, including improving how multiagency emergency planning and response partnerships engage with local communities to promote emergency preparedness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • resilience
  • emergency preparedness
  • human behaviour
  • risk information

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