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Journal Article


Martins VN, Nigg J, Louis-Charles HM, Kendra JM. Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 2019; 34: 316-325.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






This article focuses on the analysis of the levels of household preparedness in New York City (NYC) during an imminent threat scenario, that is, the landfall of Superstorm Sandy on October 25, 2012. Additionally, it reveals how social and socio-psychological factors influenced the preparedness behavior of NYC households. This study uses data from the New York City Random Digit Dialing survey, conducted by the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, with a sample of 1449 adult residents in NYC at the time of the storm. The data was analyzed using frequencies, cross-tabs, and factor analysis in order to build four path analysis models of household preparedness.

RESULTS indicate that the levels of household preparedness in NYC at the time of the storm were modest. Each household engaged, on average, in 7 preparedness activities out of a possible 14 on the date of the storm. Households engaged more in the acquisition of preparedness supplies than in developing planning or mitigation capabilities. Moreover, social capital was an enabler of preparedness. Households that were politically active or that were integrated into community networks were more likely to engage in all types of preparedness efforts. Risk perception also had a positive impact on the preparedness efforts developed by NYC households. Also, single mother households, low-income households, and households with seniors were less likely to be proactive regarding preparedness efforts, while households with one or more members with functional and access needs and households located within the Sandy inundation areas were more likely to prepare for a disaster or an emergency.

Language: en


Household preparedness; NYC; Risk perception; Social capital; Superstorm Sandy; Vulnerability


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