Married couples’ decision-making about household natural hazard preparedness: a case study of hurricane hazards in Sarasota County, Florida

Li San Hung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Survey-based studies of household natural hazard preparedness have often relied on individual-level data to predict household-level preparedness behaviors, in doing so neglecting intra-household dynamics’ influence on household decision-making and creating possible methodological concerns. Targeting married, heterosexual couples living in Sarasota County, Florida, this study aims at understanding who the decision-makers are in a three-stage household decision-making process—problem initiation, information search and evaluation, and final decisions—regarding household hurricane preparedness. The study then investigates how the decision-makers in the decision-making stages impact their households’ levels of preparedness. Survey results of 170 couples indicate that at least half of all households stated that they make joint decisions during all three stages of decision-making, and joint decision-making corresponds with a high level of preparedness during each stage. Households that make joint decisions throughout the decision-making process have significantly higher levels of preparedness than households in which wives make decisions independently throughout the process or no one makes decisions at all throughout the process. This study also investigates the level of adoption for each of the preparedness items and behaviors according to the various decision-makers. Practitioners should note the prevalence of joint decision-making in household natural hazard preparedness and promote preparedness activities for households in which wives serve as the sole decision-makers. This study shows the importance of considering intra-household dynamics in household natural hazard preparedness research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1081
Number of pages25
JournalNatural Hazards
Volume87
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Household decision-making
  • Hurricane
  • Intra-household dynamics
  • Preparedness
  • Sarasota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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