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Washington Households’ Expected Responses to the Volcanic Threat of Mt. Rainier
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This study examines households’ knowledge, attitudes and adjustments toward volcanic threat through an investigation of the population at risk from Mt. Rainier. To bridge the gaps of previous volcano research, I first explored the effects of demographic variables, locational variables (i.e., crater proximity, lahar zone location and community bondedness), and past information search on three sets of psychological variables—risk perception, hazard intrusiveness, and affective response. In turn, I examined the effects of these psychological variables along with locational and demographic variables on three measures of hazard adjustments—emergency preparedness, future information search, and evacuation preparedness—made by the households. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) results show that there were significantly mean differences in five variables—risk perception, hazard intrusiveness, affective response, evacuation plan effectiveness, and community bondedness—among nine communities; however, no significant differences were found in the other four variables—future information search, adequacy of official lahar evacuation routes, school evacuation plan compliance, and adequate preparedness. In addition, the results of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analyses indicate that two psychological factors (e.g., risk perception and hazard intrusiveness), two demographic factors (e.g., female gender and income), community bondedness, past information search, and hazard proximity (e.g., lahar zone location and crater proximity), all had significant effects on the three measures of hazard adjustments—emergency preparedness, future information search, and evacuation preparedness. The findings also reveal that most respondents had low levels of hazard intrusiveness and few engaged in volcano-specific emergency preparedness actions. This makes it essential for local emergency managers to increase residents’ volcano hazard awareness and preparedness. Due to the report of high percent of car usage (74.3%) and an increasing population growth in the Puyallup River valley, the local emergency managers should collaborate with transportation engineers to conduct evacuation analyses to determine if the evacuation routes have adequate capacity for the likely evacuation demand. They should also work with land use planners to conduct land use analyses to manage residential and commercial development, as well as the siting of essential facilities such as schools and hospitals.
Wei, Hung-Lung (2016). Washington Households’ Expected Responses to the Volcanic Threat of Mt. Rainier. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from