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Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation Actions before and after Two Earthquakes

Source: Lisa A. Russell (Department of Applied Health Science at Indiana University), James D. Goltz (EQE International’s Spedal), Linda B. Bourque (Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA)

This study examines the current state of preparedness among Los Angeles County and San Francisco Bay Area residents, determines the extent to which levels of preparedness have changed since the Sylmar earthquake in 1971, identifies the circumstances under which people have prepared, and assesses the extent to which respondents’ overall perceptions of preparedness match their reports of preparedness activities. Since the 1970s, residents of the two areas have increased their level of survival activities substantially, but progress in home-hazard mitigation and family earthquake planning has generally remained constant and low. Pre-earthquake preparedness was predicted by home ownership, income, education, marital status, number of children at home, number of years in the neighborhood, and number of earthquakes experienced. In contrast, post-earthquake preparedness was predicted by proximity to the earthquake epicenter, earthquake-related experiences, fear, and levels of pre-earthquake preparedness.

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