Community Proactivity in Disaster Preparation: Research Based on Two Communities in Japan
Takaaki Hashimoto*,, Kaori Karasawa*, Kazuyuki Hirayama**, Masanori Wada***, and Hiroshi Hosaka***
*Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
**JFE Steel Corporation, Hiroshima, Japan
***Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Chiba, Japan
This study examined the determinants of people’s participation in community-based disaster preparedness efforts. We administered surveys to residents of two communities in Japan: a neighborhood renowned for high proactivity in disaster preparedness efforts (N=443) and a relatively new, developing community of apartment complex residents (N=772). Results revealed that regardless of community type, people’s involvement therein predicts their engagement in disaster preparation actions. The effects were mediated by social factors (e.g., sense of responsibility, social influence) and disaster-specific factors (e.g., perceived costs/benefits of disaster preparedness, disaster attentiveness). We also identified several features that distinguished the two communities. Specifically, sense of community responsibility was a stronger predictor of people’s actions in the highly proactive community. Based on the results, we discuss the significance of promoting psychological attachment to the community to encourage disaster preparation actions among residents.
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