Motivating Public Preparedness

Mileti DS, Wood MM, Kano M, Kelley MM, Bourque LB. International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Bulletin 2011; 28(4): 9-12.

We have new scientific evidence about what “really works” to reach, teach and motivate the public to prepare for disasters (events many believe will not happen and, if they do, will happen to someone else and not them). We were charged by the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct a nationwide study of public preparedness in the United States through the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland in College Park – a DHS Center for Research Excellence on Terrorism. We learned about motivating public preparedness for all hazards. This brief is to share what we discovered with practitioners, but first we provide a description of the research we conducted.