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Factors Motivating Individuals to Take Precautionary Action for an Expected Earthquake in Istanbul

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Istanbul is expected to experience an earthquake in the near future, but individuals show limited interest in preparing for it. This study aims to identify the factors associated with taking action to prepare for an earthquake and mitigate its effects at the individual level. A field survey was carried out in 2007 in two districts of Istanbul with different levels of earthquake risk. Within these districts, three socioeconomic levels were considered. A total of 1,123 people were interviewed face to face. Analysis indicated that the educational level of the respondents was the leading factor associated with taking at least three measures, followed by living in a higher earthquake risk area, having participated in rescue and solidarity activities in previous earthquakes, a higher level of knowledge about earthquakes, home ownership, a higher score for action-stimulating attitudes, being younger, and a higher general safety score, in that order. The findings pointed to the role of knowledge about earthquakes and possible mitigation/preparedness measures, and thus the importance of developing effective awareness programs. Such programs should also consider the characteristics of different groups in the population. Motivated individuals, such as those who have participated in rescue and solidarity activities in previous earthquakes, could be involved in reaching other people.
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Keywords: Earthquake hazards; Istanbul; mitigation and preparedness; risk perception

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2010

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