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Threat Perception and Public Preparedness for Earthquakes in Italy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2019

Moran Bodas
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Fabiana Giuliani
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Alba Ripoll-Gallardo
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Marta Caviglia
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Marcelo Farah Dell’Aringa
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Monica Linty
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Francesco Della Corte
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Luca Ragazzoni
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM - Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Corresponding

Abstract

Introduction:

Italy is prone to major earthquakes and has experienced several devastating earthquakes in the far and recent past. The objectives of this study were to assess the level of Italian households’ preparedness for earthquakes and to measure the public’s perception of the risk and its impact on preparedness behavior.

Hypothesis:

Italian households’ preparedness for earthquakes is insufficient and is influenced by different threat perception components that were assessed.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study, using an online questionnaire, was conducted in early 2018. The sample included 1,093 responders from a diverse sociodemographic background. The primary outcome was the Preparedness Index (PI), a score indicating the number of preparedness actions complied-with out of 10.

Results:

The PI’s mean was 5.26 (SD = 2.17). The recommendation most complied-with was keeping a flashlight at home (87.7%) and the least was securing the kitchen cupboards (15.1%). The PI was positively correlated with a higher sense of preparedness (r = 0.426; P <.001). The PI was higher for responders residing in high-seismic-risk areas and those who experienced a major earthquake before. The predictors of PI were: gender, age, prior experience, sense of preparedness, searching for information, and threat intrusiveness (negatively).

Conclusions:

The findings demonstrate a medium-level of preparedness; however, this might be circumstantial. Italians perceive major earthquakes to be unlikely, yet severe if and when they do occur. A validated tool in Italian now exists and can be used in future studies.

Bodas M, Giuliani F, Ripoll-Gallardo A, Caviglia M, Dell’Aringa MF, Linty M, Della Corte F, Ragazzoni L. Threat perception and public preparedness for earthquakes in Italy. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):114–124

Type
Original Research
Copyright
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2019 

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Footnotes

Conflicts of interests: The authors declare that there are no competing interests to disclose.

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