Investigating risk behaviour in disaster preparedness
Teh, Ee Shan
Date of Issue2016
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Today, the world is increasingly exposed to the uncertainties of disaster. Consequently, the role of governments, organisations as well as the community becomes progressively more complex and far-reaching. The failure to react promptly and efficiently to a disaster can leave a company, an industry and even an entire civilisation across a nation or region stricken with grief and devastation. As such, there is a need to understand people’s vulnerability to disasters and their resilience, as well as their risk behaviour and attitudes. Unfortunately in Singapore, despite regular efforts from the government to educate the public on being vigilant, the disaster preparedness level in Singaporeans has been limited. It is therefore essential to identify the primary elements responsible for the delayed reactions and to distinguish the various influences that is accountable for hindering recovery efforts of the individuals. Hence, by expanding and integrating on disasters and health studies, this report proposes the use of sociocultural models in determining disaster preparedness behaviour in individuals. Sociocultural models describes a developmental process that originates with factors that influences individuals to prepare, develops through the formation on intents, and culminates in judgements to prepare. Specifically, we defined an individual’s behaviour as a summative of five components: risk portfolio, perception, attitude, conduct and preparedness. In the form of a quantitative survey, people were asked about whether they were risk averse or risk seeking “in general”. The findings showed that demographic variables such as gender and age, have a significant impact on an individual’s risk attitude. Turning to other questions about risk behaviours in specific disaster contexts, we find similar results on the determinants of risk behaviours, and also shed light on the deeper question of consistency of risk behaviours across contexts.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University