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Risk Perceptions, Race, and Hurricane Katrina

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This study examined differences across race and income in responses to warning messages associated with Hurricane Katrina. Surveys were administered to Katrina evacuees who had been relocated throughout the country, investigating perceptions of the seriousness of the crisis, motivation to evacuate, and preparations for the storm. Results suggest differences between Whites and non-Whites along these lines. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for considering race and poverty in audience responses to crisis messages, and the need to consider marginalized subpopulations in future crisis communication research.

Keywords: Hurricane Katrina; crisis communication; hazard; outrage

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Sociology Department and Communication Studies Program, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 2: Department of Language and Communications, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, USA 3: School of Communication, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA 4: Department of Communication, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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