The impact of information sources on earthquake preparedness

Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum, Carmit Rapaport, Daphna Canetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Various initiatives at the federal and community levels have sought through varied media communications channels to provide information aimed at preparing populations for earthquakes. Yet, evidence shows that most are not very successful. We will explore several avenues of potential explanations for compliance with official public directives while also examining the impact of alternative sources of informal social sources of information on behaviors toward making household's earthquake resilient. To do so we analyze data focusing on actual earthquake preparation actions derived from responses to a national Israeli representative sample (n=947). The survey included populations residing in high-risk vs low-risk seismic areas, distinguished between actual and perceived preparedness as well as the impact of previous experience with earthquakes. This process is reflected in a working model that differentiates possible prime explanatory variables that along with trusting the sources, affect either or both levels of perceived or actual preparedness for earthquakes. The results highlighted that both formal and informal sources have an impact on raising the levels of both actual and perceived preparedness. What differentiates its impact is primarily having experienced an earthquake – however minor – and active searching formal sources that led to greater actual preparedness. Residence in high seismic risk areas had a positive impact on levels of perceived preparedness. Trusting the source played a role in translating past experience into being prepared across different religious groups in Israel, namely Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Earthquakes preparedness
  • Information sources actual preparedness
  • Perceived preparedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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