Natural Hazards

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 19–35 | Cite as

Preparedness for natural hazards: testing an expanded education- and engagement-enhanced social cognitive model

Original Paper


This study sought to answer the question “do factors in a model of ‘engaged education’ predict preparedness for natural hazards?” The sample consisted of 291 participants, recruited via university student and snowball sampling strategies. Participants completed an online questionnaire containing predictor measures linked to an expanded social cognitive model of preparedness for hazards: indices that assessed positive outcome expectancy, negative outcome expectancy, trust, distrust, confidence, empowerment, collective efficacy, responsibility, participation and education. Criterion measures included indices measuring intentions to prepare and preparedness behaviours. Results indicated that the measure of preparedness, modified for an Australian context, showed good reliability. Australian participants had lower levels of preparedness compared to New Zealand participants. Neither the original or expanded social cognitive model was a good predictor of intentions to prepare or preparedness behaviour, and a more parsimonious model of individual factors best predicted preparedness for natural hazards. These individual factors were negative outcome expectancy, personal responsibility for preparedness and children participating in a hazards education program. Adults participating in emergency-related training were also found to predict having a safety plan. The research also considered trust and confidence in social media, and distrust of government. The implications for preparedness practice and further research are discussed, along with the limitations and recommendations for future research.


Natural hazards Preparedness Engagement Education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CQUniversityRockhamptonAustralia

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