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Keywords:

  • communication resources;
  • disaster preparedness;
  • Hurricane Ivan;
  • neighbourhood belonging

This paper reports on an examination of data on how local residents in Tuscaloosa, a mid-sized city in the state of Alabama, United States, responded to Hurricane Ivan of September 2004. The evaluation revealed that an integrated connection to community-level communication resources—comprising local media, community organisations and interpersonal networks—has a direct impact on the likelihood of engaging in pre-hurricane preparedness activities and an indirect effect on during-hurricane preparedness activities. Neighbourhood belonging mediated the relation between an integrated connection to community-level communication resources and during-hurricane preparedness activities. Neighbourhood belonging was determined to increase the likelihood of taking preparedness actions during Hurricane Ivan, but not prior to it. In addition, we discovered an interesting pattern for two different types of risk perceptions: social and personal risk perceptions. Social risk perceptions increase the likelihood of taking preventative steps before a hurricane while personal risk perceptions are positively related to engaging in preventative action during a hurricane.