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  1. This study examined age differences in barriers to preparing for disasters and how caregiving responsibilities are associated with these barriers among different age groups. Using a sample of 1142 individuals from the 2017 Federal Emergency Management Agency National Household Survey, binary and multinomial logistic regressions were conducted to investigate the likelihood of encountering any or one of the two types of barriers, namely, barriers related to coping appraisal (i.e., capacity) and those related to threat appraisal (i.e., risk perception). Age was the key predictor and was categorized into five groups: 18–34, 35–49, 50–64, 65–74, and 75+. The results showed that the 18–34, 35–49, and 75+ age groups were more likely to have coping appraisal barriers than those aged between 65 and 74. In addition, being a caregiver increased the likelihood of having coping appraisal barriers. Interestingly, relative to the 65–74 age group, being a caregiver in the 18–34, 35–49, and 50–64 age groups would be more likely to have coping appraisal barriers. Our findings highlighted age patterns and heterogeneity among older adults. This study also directed attention to how disaster preparation behaviors were shaped by life course experiences.
  2. Objective: This study examined factors that were associated with the effectiveness of pre-existing household emergency plans during the 2011 EF5 Joplin and EF4 Tuscaloosa tornadoes. We focused on whether discussing with family members helped increase the plan’s effectiveness. Methods: A telephone survey based on random sampling was conducted in 2012 with 1006 respondents in both cities. Each city experienced huge losses, injuries, and casualties. The working sample included 494 respondents who had a household emergency plan in place before these tornadoes. Results: Multinomial logistic regression showed that discussing with family members increased the helpfulness of the plan in Joplin, where people had not experienced tornadoes frequently and were less prepared for tornadoes relative to residents in Tuscaloosa. Conclusions: This study provides empirical evidence on the importance of encouraging family involvement when making household emergency plans, especially in places that are less prepared for disasters than those that are better prepared. Key Words: disaster preparedness, household emergency plan, tornado, vulnerability