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Title: What Makes Homeowners Consider Protective Actions to Reduce Disaster Risk? An Application of the Precaution Adoption Process Model and Life Course Theory
Abstract We hypothesize that for disaster risk mitigation, many households, despite being aware of their risk and possible mitigation actions, never seriously consider doing anything about them. In mitigation-focused decisions, since there is no equivalent to warning messages, the decision process is likely to evolve over an extended time. We explore what activates hurricane mitigation protective action decisions through three research questions: (1) to what extent are homeowners unengaged in protective action decision making? (2) What homeowner characteristics are associated with lack of engagement? And (3) to what extent do different life events trigger engagement in the decision-making process? We use the Precaution Adoption Process Model to conceptualize engagement as distinct from decision making; the broader protective action decision-making literature to explore drivers of engagement; and Life Course Theory to examine potential transitions from unengaged to engaged. We use survey data of homeowners in North Carolina to examine these questions empirically. Findings suggest that one-third of respondents had never engaged in protective action decisions, that life experiences differ in their occurrence frequency and effect on households’ mitigation decisions, and that some events, such as renovating, reroofing, or purchasing a home may offer critical moments that could be leveraged to encourage greater engagement in mitigation decision making.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
International Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Page Range / eLocation ID:
312 to 325
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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