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Journal Article


Teo M, Goonetilleke A, Deilami K, Ahankoob A, Lawie M. Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 2019; 39: e101245.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






Modern societies are increasingly a melting pot of people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds which needs to be taken into consideration in disaster planning. People from different ethnic and language backgrounds are sometimes more vulnerable in a disaster due to a number of challenges including language barriers, cultural perceptions, social isolation, poor assimilation with the local community and distrust of authorities. The level of disaster preparedness differs significantly at a household level, yet there is little understanding of how an individual's attributes such as age, ethnicity, language skills and gender, influences and sustains the level of disaster preparedness. Past research has explored one or more of these attributes, but the relationship between 'ethnicity', 'language skills' and disaster preparedness is least understood. To address this gap, this paper investigates how an individual's ethnicity and language skills influence their levels of disaster preparedness. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 180 residents from a variety of ethnic and language backgrounds in Logan City, a local government area in Australia. The survey results were analyzed using hierarchical regression analysis, and suggest that 'ethnicity' and 'English Language skills', accounted for significant variations in levels of disaster preparedness in the case study location. The findings suggest that policy makers need to give due consideration to how different ethnic groups understand and prepare for disasters, and to design disaster management and communication plans that cater for different language ability.

Language: en


Community; Culture; Disaster preparedness; Ethnicity; Language; Quantitative analysis


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