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Earthquake experience and preparedness in Turkey

Meltem Oral (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey)
Aynil Yenel (FSM Egitim ve Arastirma Hastanesi, Istanbul, Turkey)
Elif Oral (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey)
Nazan Aydin (Department of Psychiatry, Bakirkoy Ruh ve Sinir Hastaliklari Hastanesi, Istanbul, Turkey)
Tarik Tuncay (Department of Social Work, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure and compare the level of earthquake preparedness of individuals living in Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey, evaluate whether prior earthquake experience has an impact on earthquake preparedness and discuss the cultural factors that may play a role in determining the level of preparedness.

Design/methodology/approach

Three locations were identified for the study. Aşkale and Erçiş district had experienced a major earthquake where Erzurum City Center had no major earthquake experience. A total of 174 participants were included in the study. Earthquake preparation was assessed using the Turkish version of the Wellington Earthquake Preparedness Scale by Spittal et al. (2006).

Findings

The results showed a significant relationship between the place of living, earthquake experience and preparation. Those who had prior earthquake experience had higher preparation than those who had no prior earthquake experience. Home owners had taken more steps to prepare for an earthquake than non-home owners Individuals who were married had higher preparation scores than those who were single or widowed. A comparison of general perception of preparedness levels reported by participants having a major earthquake experience and no earthquake experience showed that Erçiş and Aşkale residents were significantly more prepared for an earthquake than Erzurum residents. Home ownership and past earthquake experience were found to be predictors of preparation.

Originality/value

Although the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey encounters many earthquakes resulting in mass destruction, the issue of whether individuals living in this region are ready and prepared for a possible earthquake has not been researched sufficiently.

Keywords

Citation

Oral, M., Yenel, A., Oral, E., Aydin, N. and Tuncay, T. (2015), "Earthquake experience and preparedness in Turkey", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 21-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-01-2013-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited