As the number of people living at risk from volcanic hazards in the U.S. Pacific Northwest grows, more detailed studies of household preparedness in at-risk communities are needed to develop effective mitigation, response, and recovery plans. This study examines two aspects of preparedness behavior motivation in the Skagit Valley (WA), which is at risk from Mount Baker and Glacier Peak lahars. First, we examine the influence of perceived response-efficacy, protective response costs, self-efficacy, and ascription of responsibility on preparedness. Results indicate few respondents believe high perceived protective response costs, low perceived response-efficacy, or low perceived protection responsibility prevent them from adopting frequently recommended preparedness behaviors. Correlations with preparedness suggest perceived self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility play a more dominant role in determining preparedness behaviors, albeit a less readily recognized role. Second, we investigate how participation in hazard management at a professional level (e.g., working as a first responder or leader within the local city government, hospitals, school districts, Red Cross, or utilities, transportation, or water companies) influences knowledge, risk perception, and household preparedness. Results show that professional participation minimally influences household preparedness, but successfully improves perceived self-efficacy, confidence in officials, and information seeking behavior. Given these results, we argue (1) for inclusion of ascription of responsibility variables in studies of preparedness behavior motivation and (2) that specific types of participation in response-related activities (e.g., public, professional, specific training programs) may affect household preparedness differently, whereas self-efficacy and confidence in officials may improve regardless of participation type because of increased interaction with emergency officials.
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Corwin, Kimberley A.; Brand, Brittany D.; Hubbard, Monica L.; and Johnston, David M. (2017). "Household Preparedness Motivation in Lahar Hazard Zones: Assessing the Adoption of Preparedness Behaviors Among Laypeople and Response Professionals in Communities Downstream from Mount Baker and Glacier Peak (USA) Volcanoes". Journal of Applied Vocanology, 6, 3-1 - 3-19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13617-017-0055-8