The Utility of Perceived Community Efficacy in Emergency Preparedness

  • Frank WattEmail author
  • Pat Tissington


This chapter explores the utility of perceived community efficacy in emergency preparedness. A mixed method project structured using Social Cognitive Theory is presented. The qualitative research phase explores data collected from 20 interviews with residents in high-risk flood areas identified through Environment Agency mapping. Qualitative data informed the development of a new model and measure of perceived community efficacy featuring three factors: Community Network Structure, Social Capital, and Community Capacity. Tested on 501 individuals in flood risk zones, the quantitative research phase demonstrated how perceived community efficacy was predictive of the community’s likelihood of undertaking preparedness activities. Findings highlight the need for leadership during preparedness activities and for awareness of residents’ presence when Fire and Police personnel determine courses of action on the incident ground. Community preparedness teams should be identified and seen as a valuable resource in terms of emergency planning. Recommendations are made for how to facilitate greater community awareness and engagement with preparedness activities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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