Despite considerable effort and expenditure on public hazard education, levels of disaster preparedness remain low. By integrating and expanding on natural hazards and health research on protective behaviour, this paper proposes a social cognitive model of disaster preparedness. The model describes a developmental process that commences with factors that motivate people to prepare, progresses through the formation of intentions, and culminates in decisions to prepare. Following their critical appraisal, variables implicated at each stage are identified and their role in the preparedness process described. The implications of the model for the conceptualisation and assessment of preparedness is discussed, as is its implications for risk reduction and communication strategies.
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