Natural Hazards

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 173–184 | Cite as

Measuring Tsunami Preparedness in Coastal Washington, United States

  • D. Johnston
  • D. Paton
  • G. L. Crawford
  • K. Ronan
  • B. Houghton
  • P. Bürgelt


A survey of over 300 residents’ and visitors’ (non-residents) perceptions of tsunami hazards was carried out along the west coast of Washington State during August and September 2001. The study quantified respondents’ preparedness to deal with tsunami hazards. Despite success in disseminating hazard information, levels of preparedness were recorded at low to moderate levels. This finding is discussed in regard to the way in which people interpret hazard information and its implications for the process of adjustment adoption or preparedness. These data are also used to define strategies for enhancing preparedness. Strategies involve maintaining and enhancing hazard knowledge and risk perception, promoting the development of preparatory intentions, and facilitating the conversion of these intentions into sustained preparedness. A second phase of work began in February 2003, consisting of a series of focus groups which examined beliefs regarding preparedness and warnings, and a school survey. Preliminary findings of this work are presented.


tsunami public education warnings warning systems preparedness evacuation 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Johnston
    • 1
  • D. Paton
    • 2
  • G. L. Crawford
    • 3
  • K. Ronan
    • 4
  • B. Houghton
    • 5
  • P. Bürgelt
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Geological and Nuclear ScienceLower HuttNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  3. 3.Washington State Military Department, Emergency Management DivisionG.L.CrawfordCamp MurrayUSA
  4. 4.Massey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  5. 5.University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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