Individual preparation, or the lack thereof, for the occurrences of external events that threaten the well-being of individuals is an issue of worldwide concern. The present studies were designed to investigate the impact of a particular type of persuasive communication (i.e., fear-arousing or negative threat appeals) on preparedness behavior regarding the possible occurrence of a damaging earthquake. A general model of coping, the person-relative-to-event (PrE) model, emphasizing the relationship between level of appraised threat and person resources, was applied to this issue. It was predicted that negative threat appeals using combinations of levels of factors that cause a person to appraise their resources as sufficient in quantity and quality to obviate or minimize the negative consequences of a threatening earthquake would increase levels of earthquake preparedness to a greater extent than would communications that do not. Results of Study I were partially supportive of these predictions. In Study 2, patterns of changes in preparedness behavior fit predictions generated by the PrE model to a greater extent when felt responsibility for preparing for the occurrence of an earthquake was high than when it was low. Implications of the research and theory underlying this investigation are discussed.