Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Rural Households’ Perceptions and Behavior Expectations in Response to Seismic Hazard in Sichuan, China

Hua, Chunlin; Huang, Shih-Kai; Lindell, Michael K.; Yu, Chin-Hsien. (2020). Rural Households’ Perceptions and Behavior Expectations in Response to Seismic Hazard in Sichuan, China. Safety Science, 125.

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This study analyzed data from 663 rural households in the city of Jiangyou, Sichuan, China to examine the correlations of expectations of taking nine indoor seismic hazard response actions to a hypothetical earthquake with preparedness efforts, risk perceptions, and information reliance. The results indicate that respondents expect to rely on TV and local authorities as their principal sources of earthquake information. Respondents have greater expectations of infrastructure disruptions than property damage and casualties. In addition, they have greater expectations of taking some alternative actions, such as running outside of the building and helping others, than recommended in-place protective actions such as drop, cover, and hold. However, some erroneous actions, such as protecting property and ignoring the threat, are the least likely. Furthermore, regression analyses indicated that risk perceptions, together with some demographic characteristics and earthquake experience, are significant predictors of recommended in-place protective actions and helping others, whereas evacuation is related to higher risk perceptions. Unsurprisingly, respondents having previous seismic damage experience tend to be concerned about property protection and, similarly, those having fewer years of education are more likely to ignore the threat. This study also found that residents expect to rely on different channels to receive information before and after an earthquake. Nonetheless, respondents expect to engage in similar patterns of behavior during and after an earthquake. The results of this study indicate a need for greater dissemination of earthquake information in such rural areas to increase residents' risk perceptions and, in turn, understanding of appropriate emergency responses.


Seismic Response; Risk Perception; Households; Sensory Perception; Property Damage; Sichuan Sheng (china); Information Reliance; Protective Actions; Risk Perceptions; Seismic Hazard; Climate-change; Hurricane Evacuation; Earthquake; Preparedness; Adjustment; Education; Injuries; Communication; Intentions