JDR Vol.9 No.sp pp. 638-643
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2014.p0638


Toward Mitigating Actions: Risk Communication Regarding Natural Disaster

Kazuya Nakayachi

Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University, Tatara, Kyotanabe, Kyoto 610-0394, Japan

November 27, 2013
June 6, 2014
September 1, 2014
natural disaster, preparedness, mitigating action, risk perception, trust

Appropriate mitigationmeasures are not always taken even if individuals perceive a high risk of a natural disaster; therefore, merely sharing information on the degree of risk is insufficient when communicating the true danger in a situation. Which aspects should be taken into account in designing a risk communication program against natural disasters? This article reviews this issue based on findings of risk perception studies and theories of social psychology. The focus was placed upon four topics in addressing the link between risk perception and preparedness for action: (1) perceived efficacy of recommendedmitigation measures, (2) trust in risk managers, (3) direct or indirect experience of the disaster, and (4) use of heuristics. This article also addressed the social aspects of human nature in disasters. Immediately after 2011 Tohoku earthquake shocks subsided, mobile phone communication was disabled by the sudden and extremely high demand of users attempting to contact significant others. Emergency evacuation systems, therefore, must be designed with an allowance for the social nature of people trying to confirm the safety of others even when this may conflict with immediate evacuation requirements. The development of an information environment which enables residents to evacuate rapidly, based on psychological findings and advanced technology, was finally discussed.

Cite this article as:
Kazuya Nakayachi, “Toward Mitigating Actions: Risk Communication Regarding Natural Disaster,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.9, No.sp, pp. 638-643, 2014.
Data files:
  1. [1] J. S. Becker, D. Paton, D. M. Johnston, and K. R. Ronan, “Salient Beliefs About Earthquake Hazards and Household Preparedness,” Risk Analysis, Vol.33, pp. 1710-1727, 2013.
  2. [2] P. Bubeck, W. J. W. Botzen, and J. C. J. H. Aerts, “A Review of Risk Perceptions and Other Factors that Influence Flood Mitigation Behavior,” Risk Analysis, Vol.32, pp. 1481-1495, 2012.
  3. [3] T. E. Hall and M. Slothower, “Cognitive factors affecting homeowners’ reactions to defensible space in the Oregon coast range,” Society and Natural Resources, Vol.22, pp. 95-110, 2009.
  4. [4] K. Haynes, J. Barclay, and N. Pidgeon, “Whose reality counts? Factors affecting the perception of volcanic risk,” Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol.172, pp. 259-272, 2008.
  5. [5] R. Miceli, I. Sotgiu, and M. Settanni, “Disaster preparedness and perceptionof flood risk: A study in an Alpine Valley in Italy,” Journal of Environmental Psychology, Vol.28, pp. 164-173, 2008.
  6. [6] M. Siegrist and H. Gutscher, “Flooding risks: A comparison of lay people’s perceptions and expert’s assessments in Switzerland,” Risk Analysis, Vol.26, pp. 971-979, 2006.
  7. [7] T. Terpstra, “Emotions, trust, and perceived risk: Affective and cognitive routes to flood preparedness,” Risk Analysis, Vol.31, pp. 1658-1675, 2011.
  8. [8] G. Wachinger, O. Renn, C. Begg, and C. Kuhlicke, “The risk perception paradox – implications for governance and communication of natural hazards,” Risk Analysis, Vol.33, pp. 1049-1065, 2013.
  9. [9] L. Whitmarsh, “Are flood victims more concerned about climate change than other people? The role of direct experience in risk perception and behavioural response,” Journal of Risk Research, Vol.11, pp. 351-374, 2008.
  10. [10] R. W. Rogers, “A protection motivation theory of fear appeals and attitude change,” Journal of Psychology, Vol.91, pp. 93-114, 1975.
  11. [11] R. W. Rogers, “Cognitive and physiological processes in fear appeals and attitude change: A revised theory of protection motivation,” In J. Cacioppo and R. Petty (Eds.), “Social Psychophysiology,” New York: Guilford Press, pp. 153-176, 1983.
  12. [12] M. K. Lindell and R. W. Perry, “Behavioral Foundations of Community Emergency Planning,” Washington, DC: Hemisphere Press, 1992.
  13. [13] M. K. Lindell and R. W. Perry, “The Protective Action Decision Model: Theoretical Modifications and Additional Evidence,” Vol.32, pp. 616-632, 2012.
  14. [14] T. Ozaki and K. Nakayachi, “The influences of perceived risk and efficacy on the preparedness actions against earthquake,” Proceedings of the 54th annual meeting of the Japanese Society of Social Psychology, p. 141, 2013 (in Japanese).
  15. [15] K. Takahashi and M. Masaki, “How the Great East Japan Earthquake Changed the Japanese: From a public opinion survey on disaster prevention, energy, and the basic sense of values,” The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research, pp. 34-55, June, 2012, [access available on Nov. 27, 2013]
  16. [16] A. Tversky and D. Kahneman, “Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases,” Science, Vol.185, pp. 1124-1131, 1974.
  17. [17] S. Oki and K. Nakayachi, “Paradoxical Effects of the Record-high Tsunamis Caused by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake on Public Judgments of Danger,” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol.2, pp. 37-45, 2012.
  18. [18] P, Slovic, M. L. Finucane, E. Peters, and D. G. MacGregor, “The affect heuristic,” In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin and D. Kahneman (Eds.), “Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment,” New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 397-420, 2002.
  19. [19] P. Slovic, M. L. Finucane, E. Peters, and D. G. MacGregor, “Risk as analysis and risk as feelings: Some thoughts about affect, reason, risk, and rationality,” Risk Analysis, Vol.24, pp. 311-322, 2004.
  20. [20] J. Hansen, S. Marx, and E. U. Weber, “The Role of Climate Perceptions, Expectations, and Forecasts in Farmer Decision Making: The Argentine Pampas and South Florida. Palisades,” NY: International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) Technical Report 04-01, 2004.
  21. [21] E. U.Weber, “Experience-based and Description-based Perceptions of Long-term Risk: Why GlobalWarming Does not Scare Us (Yet),” Climatic Change, Vol.77, pp. 103-120, 2006.
  22. [22] K. Nakayachi, H. M. Yokoyama, and S. Oki, “Public Anxiety after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake: Fluctuations in Hazard Perception After Catastrophe,” Journal of Risk Research (in press).
  23. [23] R. W. Kates, W. R. Travis, and T. J. Wilbanks, “Transformational adaptation when incremental adaptations to climate change are insufficient,” PNAS, Vol.109, pp. 7157-7161, 2012.
  24. [24] M. Fishbein and I. Ajzen, “Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research,” Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1975.
  25. [25] I. Ajzen and M. Fishbein, “Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior,” Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980.
  26. [26] I. Ajzen, “The Theory of Planned Behavior.” Organizational behavioral and human decision processes, Vol.50, pp. 179-211, 1991.
  27. [27] L. Festinger, “A theory of social comparison processes,” Human relations, Vol.7, pp. 117-140, 1954.
  28. [28] K. Nakayachi, “Ascertaining others’ safety immediately after the severe earthquake (1),” Paper presented at the 77th annual meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, 2013 (in Japanese).
  29. [29] K. Nakayachi, “Ascertaining others’ safety immediately after the severe earthquake (2),” Proceedings of the 54th annual meeting of the Japanese Society of Social Psychology, p. 127, 2013 (in Japanese).

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Mar. 05, 2021