Engaging pet owners in disaster risk and preparedness communications: Simplifying complex human-animal relations with archetypes

Joshua Trigg, Kirrilly Thompson, Bradley Smith, Pauleen Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The influence of human-animal relationships upon owners' perceptions and behaviours can lead to situations that place owners and animals at risk of harm. Pet ownership particularly is considered a risk factor for unsafe responses to natural hazards, though conversely, it can also be viewed as a protective factor that motivates disaster preparedness. However, each relationship should not be treated equivalently, as characteristics considered most meaningful within them differ across various types of pet-owner relationship and along multiple dimensions. A one-size-fits-all approach to applying the pets-as-protective-factor principle is then too broad in scope. This review outlines a novel psychographic profiling approach for archetypes of pet-owner relationship characteristics as a means of describing risk-preparedness foci and risk propensities within disaster contexts. Understanding those differences as detailed archetypes can help emergency services more effectively target pet owners through reframing disaster risk and preparedness communications in relation to prominent characteristics of relationship archetypes. We argue that this approach can improve the effectiveness of risk and preparedness communications by increasing pet owners' receptivity to, and cognitive involvement with, message content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-251
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Hazards
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • archetypes
  • communication
  • disaster preparedness
  • pets
  • risk perception

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