TJ3.1 The Influence of Cultural Worldviews and Risk Perceptions on Severe Weather Preparation

Monday, 7 January 2019: 2:00 PM
North 226AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Aimee Franklin, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. Le, M. Brucks, and M. A. Shafer

This study seeks a better understanding of what people want when it comes to severe weather preparation. Do they prefer to pay for things like weather radios and storm shelters to protect themselves? Or, are they willing to provide additional resources to government to protect not only themselves but other members of the community through things like writing protective building codes or funding the acquisition of private land with elevated severe weather risk levels into public recreation spaces? We combined climate science response expectations with behavioral intentions to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on fiscally efficient ways to encourage individual and community severe weather preparations.

To anticipate severe weather preparation preferences, we use scholarly literature to identify different factors that can affect an individual’s tornado and severe weather preparation, including socio-economic factors, past experience, risk perceptions, current protective measures and cultural values. Then, we analyze the interplay of these factors and their relationship to tornado and severe weather preparation choices. We expect that socioeconomic factors, past experience, and perceptions of increases in tornadoes and severe weather events caused by climate change will increase the level of preparation an individual already has and the level of severe weather preparation desired. While we predict that a higher level of current protective measures will have a negative relationship with the selection of individual preparation choices, we also anticipate that this will be relationship will be mediated by an individualistic worldview.

To find out if this is true, we ask individuals in six tornado alley states, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, if they would prefer individual or community-minded severe weather preparation options. The participants then decide how much they would be willing to pay for their choices. Results from this boundary crossing research can contribute to academic theory related to the sincerity of preferences based on factors thought to drive behavioral intentions. In addition, government professionals, such as city managers, planners and emergency managers will benefit from these insights into preferred actions, the sustainability of these choices and willingness to pay. Data about preferences for individual and community-based severe weather preparedness activities that have different payment options can be translated into advances in decision making for anyone involved in crafting risk mitigation strategies for severe weather and tornadoes.

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