Natural Hazards

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 99–113 | Cite as

The 2012 Northern Italy Earthquakes: modelling human behaviour

  • Gabriele Prati
  • Elisa Saccinto
  • Luca Pietrantoni
  • Carles Pérez-Testor
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to investigate human behaviour during the 2012 Northern Italy Earthquakes. Furthermore, the current study used Kuligowski and Mileti’s (Fire Saf J 44:487–496, 2009) extended model and the Social Attachment Model as a framework to explain the behavioural responses. The study included 1839 participants who were affected by the earthquake occurred in the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) on 20 May 2012. The most frequent behavioural responses during the earthquake were moving to another room of the house, escaping from home, and waiting in bed. According to Kuligowski and Mileti’s (Fire Saf J 44:487–496, 2009) extended model, perceived risk was associated with evacuation, and emergency preparedness was related to more efficient and effective responses during the earthquake. In line with the Social Attachment Model, affiliation behaviours were more frequent than flight behaviours, while, contrary to predictions, the social context did not influence emotional responses, evacuation behaviour, and search for protection.


Earthquake Behavioural response Perceived risk Emotional response Protective action 



This research was supported in part by grants from the SUR of ECO, Generalitat de Catalunya, which awarded a fellowship (2012FI_B1 00157) to Elisa Saccinto for her Doctorate Programme. The authors thank Gianluca Pescaroli for his assistance with this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriele Prati
    • 1
  • Elisa Saccinto
    • 2
  • Luca Pietrantoni
    • 1
  • Carles Pérez-Testor
    • 2
  1. 1.Scuola di Psicologia e Scienze della FormazioneUniversità di BolognaCesenaItaly
  2. 2.Facultat de Psicologia, Ciències de l’Educació i de l’Esport BlanquernaUniversitat Ramon LlullBarcelonaSpain

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