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Perceptions of Cyclone Preparedness: Assessing the Role of Individual Adaptive Capacity and Social Capital in the Wet Tropics, Australia

1
Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia
2
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 481, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041165
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
Given projections of future climate-related disasters, understanding the conditions that facilitate disaster preparedness is critical to achieving sustainable development. Here, we studied communities within the Wet Tropics bioregion, Australia to explore whether people’s perceived preparedness for a future cyclone relates to their: (1) perceived individual adaptive capacity (in terms of flexibility and capacity to plan and learn); and (2) structural and cognitive social capital. We found that people’s perceived cyclone preparedness was only related to their perceived individual flexibility in the face of change. Given that people’s perceived cyclone preparedness was related to individualistic factors, it is plausible that individualism-collectivism orientations influence people’s perceptions at an individual level. These results suggest that in the Wet Tropics region, enhancing people’s psychological flexibility may be an important step when preparing for future cyclones. Our study highlights the need to tailor disaster preparedness initiatives to the region in question, and thus our results may inform disaster risk management and sustainable development policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate related disasters; disaster risk management; sustainable development; perceived disaster preparedness; cyclones; sustainability; adaptive capacity; place attachment; social capital climate change; climate related disasters; disaster risk management; sustainable development; perceived disaster preparedness; cyclones; sustainability; adaptive capacity; place attachment; social capital
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Sandanam, A.; Diedrich, A.; Gurney, G.G.; Richardson, T.D. Perceptions of Cyclone Preparedness: Assessing the Role of Individual Adaptive Capacity and Social Capital in the Wet Tropics, Australia. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1165.

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