Natural Hazards

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 15–29 | Cite as

The Earthquake Readiness Scale: The Development of a Valid and Reliable Unifactorial Measure

  • Matthew J. Spittal
  • Frank H. Walkey
  • John McClure
  • Richard J. Siegert
  • Kimberley E. Ballantyne


Preparedness is a key dependent variable in many studies examining people’s response to disasters such as earthquakes. A feature of many studies on this issue, however, is the lack of attention given to psychometric issues when constructing measures of preparedness. With regard to earthquake preparation, for example, many studies could be greatly improved by the use of a valid and reliable measure of preparedness. This research developed such a measure that assessed both low-level preparedness, such as having an emergency kit, and high-level preparedness, such as altering home structures to mitigate damage. Studies of Wellington (New Zealand) residents using two samples totalling n=652 showed that 23 items measuring these different aspects of earthquake preparation could be combined into a reliable, valid, unifactorial scale. This brief scale should have utility in multivariate studies of earthquake preparation, either as a dependent variable, where preparation is the outcome variable of primary interest, or as one of several independent variables, where preparation and other measures predict another outcome variable.

Key words

earthquake readiness measure mitigation preparedness calibration scale scores 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Spittal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frank H. Walkey
    • 1
  • John McClure
    • 1
  • Richard J. Siegert
    • 1
  • Kimberley E. Ballantyne
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Centre for Behavioural Research in CancerThe Cancer Council of VictoriaCarlton VICAustralia

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