The Preparedness and Reactions of Citizens to Warnings and Crisis Relocation for Nuclear Attack1


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    The authors acknowledge the helpful comments of anonymous reviewers on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Jack L. Nasar, Department of City and Regional Planning, The Ohio State University, 289 Brown Hall, 190 West 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.


A total of 200 residents of Columbus, Ohio, were questioned over the telephone about their knowledge of U.S. and Soviet crisis relocation plans, their feelings about chances of surviving nuclear attack, and their behavioral intentions in the event of an evacuation. Few respondents displayed knowledge of the existence or substance of crisis relocation plans. Most gauged survival rates in the event of a nuclear attack as substantially higher with an evacuation plan than without one, but in both cases expectations were that fewer than 50% of the population would survive. While most respondents stated they would follow evacuation procedures, evidence of possible noncompliance was found.