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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(3), 630-653; doi:10.3390/jmse3030630

The Measurement of Personal Self-Efficacy in Preparing for a Hurricane and Its Role in Modeling the Likelihood of Evacuation

CHDS Department, 402 Aderhold Hall, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, GA, USA
Academic Editor: Rick Luettich
Received: 7 April 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 1 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Hazards Related to Storm Surge)
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Abstract

Storm surges require that coastal residents make necessary preparations and evacuate the coast prior to hurricane landfall. An important individual characteristic in preparing for tropical cyclones is hurricane personal self-efficacy. Coastal residents who believe that it is possible to prepare for and evacuate ahead of a hurricane (hurricane response possibilities) and, further, believe that they personally can prepare and evacuate (hurricane personal self-efficacy) will be better prepared for hurricanes. In this study the author used a sample of 334 people to evaluate an 8-item self-report measure, the Hurricane Personal Self-Efficacy Scale (HPSES). This measure can be used to assess beliefs that it is possible in general to prepare for a hurricane and that the respondent him or herself can make these preparations and evacuate ahead of a hurricane. A factor analysis confirmed that the items measured two characteristics: (1) beliefs that is it possible for people in general to prepare for a hurricane; and (2) beliefs that the respondent personally could prepare for a hurricane and evacuate. The author also examined the functionality of the measure within a framework that was informed by Protection Motivation Theory (PMT). Hurricane response possibility beliefs, prior experiences with hurricane evacuation and hurricane-related property damages, and a tendency for people to sense and observe the weather were all predictive of personal self-efficacy in preparing for hurricanes, R2adj = 0.36. In operationalizing other constructs associated with PMT using weather-related psychological measures in a path analysis model, it was found that personal self-efficacy, fear of consequences of the severe and extreme weather, and appraisal of the threats posed by behaviors that could result in injury or death during severe weather together predicted the self-reported likelihood of evacuating, R2adj = 0.26. The implications of the study for coastal engineers and planners, ways of increasing hurricane personal self-efficacy in preparing for hurricanes, and the study's limitations are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: hurricanes; storm surge; evacuation; efficacy; human behavior hurricanes; storm surge; evacuation; efficacy; human behavior
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stewart, A.E. The Measurement of Personal Self-Efficacy in Preparing for a Hurricane and Its Role in Modeling the Likelihood of Evacuation. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 630-653.

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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. EISSN 2077-1312 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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