Considerable attention has been given by researchers to householders' material, or physical, preparedness for impact of a severe natural hazard. Somewhat less attention has been paid to psychological preparedness for such an event. This paper first reviews conceptual formulations of psychological preparedness for disasters, and self-report measures of the construct. Previous research findings about correlates of psychological preparedness are discussed. We report findings from a survey of 1253 Australian households. Scores on two psychological preparedness subscales (Knowledge and management, Anticipation and awareness) were correlated with scores on a measure of material preparedness. For both women and men, seven factors were found to be associated with both psychological and material preparedness: (a) information awareness about psychological preparedness, (b) previous emergency services training or experience, (c) previous experience of natural hazard threat, (d) higher mindfulness scores, (e) higher active engagement coping style scores, (f) low stress scores, and (g) low depression scores. It was concluded that important issues remain to be addressed about how householder psychological preparedness for disasters is best conceptualised, measured, and modified.
- Natural hazards
- Psychological preparedness