The effects of earthquake exposure on preparedness in the short and long term: a difference-in-differences estimation

Abstract

Emergency support is often delayed after a disaster. Despite the importance of being prepared to deal with the immediate aftermath of disasters, not everyone prepares effectively. While exposure to disasters improves people’s preparedness in the short term, it is yet to be determined whether this improvement is long lasting. In this paper, we use a difference-in-differences method to estimate the causal effects of the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes on people’s preparedness in the short-term (1 month after the second earthquake) and long-term (up to 25 months after the second earthquake). Our results show that people who experienced the earthquakes increase their preparedness by 0.67 standard deviations in the short term. This impact stays positive, but declines to 0.42 standard deviations in the long term.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Notes

  1. 1.

    Our measure does not include building-structure preparedness such as adherence to building codes.

  2. 2.

    To harmonize, we multiply the score of the households with “not applicable” answers (\(S_{na}\)) with 11 (the upper bound of the 12-point scale) and divide the result by the number of questions that were applicable (\(Q_{a}\)). For example, a household with nine “yes”, one “no”, and one “not applicable” answers has 10 applicable questions. Therefore, we calculate its preparedness score as \(\frac{{\left( {S_{na} *11} \right)}}{{Q_{a} }} = \frac{9*11}{{10}} = 9.9\).

  3. 3.

    The approach of difference-in-differences models is similar to the approach of fixed effects models. Both approaches exploit changes over time to difference out time constant factors. The key difference, however, is that fixed effects models require panel data and exploit changes at the individual level. In contrast, difference-in-differences models can be used with cross-sectional data and exploit changes at the group level.

References

  1. Ashenfelter OC, Card D (1984) Using the longitudinal structure of earnings to estimate the effect of training programs (No. w1489). National Bureau of Economic Research

  2. Becker JS, Paton D, Johnston DM, Ronan KR, McClure J (2017) The role of prior experience in informing and motivating earthquake preparedness. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 22:179–193

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bertrand M, Duflo E, Mullainathan S (2004) How much should we trust differences-in-differences estimates? Q J Econ 119(1):249–275

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Burger JM, Palmer ML (1992) Changes in and generalization of unrealistic optimism following experiences with stressful events: Reactions to the 1989 California earthquake. Personal Soc Psychol Bull 18(1):39–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Callaway B, Sant'Anna PH (2019) Difference-in-differences with multiple time periods. Available at SSRN 3148250

  6. Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee (2011) Open agenda. https://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2011/06/CDEM_08062011_AGN_AT.pdf.Accessed 15 July 2020

  7. Goeschl T, Managi S (2019) Public in-kind relief and private self-insurance. Econ Disasters Clim Change 3(1):3–21

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hoffmann R, Muttarak R (2015) A tale of disaster experience in two countries: Does education promote disaster preparedness in the Philippines and Thailand (No. 9/2015). Vienna Institute of Demography Working Papers

  9. Johnston DM, Lai MSBCD, Houghton BF, Paton D (1999) Volcanic hazard perceptions: comparative shifts in knowledge and risk. Disaster Prev Manag Int J 8(2):118–126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Kirschenbaum AA, Rapaport C, Canetti D (2017) The impact of information sources on earthquake preparedness. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 21:99–109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kongar I, Esposito S, Giovinazzi S (2017) Post-earthquake assessment and management for infrastructure systems: learning from the Canterbury (New Zealand) and L’Aquila (Italy) earthquakes. Bull Earthq Eng 15(2):589–620

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Lee MJ, Kang C (2006) Identification for difference in differences with cross-section and panel data. Econ Lett 92(2):270–276

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Lindell MK, Perry RW (2000) Household adjustment to earthquake hazard: a review of research. Environ Behav 32(4):461–501

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. McBride SK, Becker JS, Johnston DM (2019) Exploring the barriers for people taking protective actions during the 2012 and 2015 New Zealand ShakeOut drills. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 37:101150

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. McClure J (2006) Guidelines for encouraging householders’ preparation for earthquakes in New Zealand. Report for Building Research, pp 1–31

  16. Meyer R, Kunreuther H (2017) The ostrich paradox: why we underprepare for disasters. Wharton Digital Press, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (2016) Disaster preparedness survey. https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/public-education/Civil-Defence-Report-17Oct2016.pdf. Accessed 10 Feb 2018

  18. Mulilis JP, Duval TS, Lippa R (1990) The effects of a large destructive local earthquake on earthquake preparedness as assessed by an earthquake preparedness scale. Nat Hazards 3(4):357–371

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Mulilis JP, Duval TS, Rogers R (2003) The Effect of a Swarm of Local Tornados on Tornado Preparedness: A Quasi-Comparable Cohort Investigation 1. J Appl Soc Psychol 33(8):1716–1725

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. New Zealand Red Cross (2019) Emergency preparedness. https://www.redcross.org.nz/what-we-do/in-new-zealand/disaster-management/looking-after-yourself/emergency-preparedness/. Accessed 30 Sept 2019

  21. Nguyen LH, Shen H, Ershoff D, Afifi AA, Bourque LB (2006) Exploring the causal relationship between exposure to the 1994 Northridge earthquake and pre-and post-earthquake preparedness activities. Earthq Spectra 22(3):569–587

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Onuma H, Shin KJ, Managi S (2017) Household preparedness for natural disasters: impact of disaster experience and implications for future disaster risks in Japan. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 21:148–158

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Orchiston C, Manuel C, Coomer M, Becker J, Johnston D (2013) The 2009 New Zealand West Coast ShakeOut: improving earthquake preparedness in a region of high seismic risk. Australas J Disaster Trauma Stud 2:56–61

    Google Scholar 

  24. Paton D, Johnston D, Mamula-Seadon L, Kenney CM (2014) Recovery and development: perspectives from New Zealand and Australia. In: Kapucu N, Liou K (eds) Disaster and development. Springer, Cham, pp 255–272

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  25. Petkova EP, Schlegelmilch J, Sury J, Chandler TE, Duran Herrera C, Bhaskar S, Sehnert EM, Martinez S, Marx SM, Redlener IE (2016) The American preparedness project: where the US public stands in 2015. National Center for disaster preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Research Brief 2. https://doi.org/10.7916/D84Q7TZN

  26. Potter SH, Becker JS, Johnston DM, Rossiter KP (2015) An overview of the impacts of the 2010–2011 Canterbury earthquakes. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 14:6–14

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Russell LA, Goltz JD, Bourque LB (1995) Preparedness and hazard mitigation actions before and after two earthquakes. Environ Behav 27(6):744–770

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Rogers RW (1983) Cognitive and psychological processes in fear appeals and attitude change: A revised theory of protection motivation. In: Cacioppo JT, Petty RE (eds) Social psychophysiology: a sourcebook. Guilford Press, New York, pp 153–176

    Google Scholar 

  29. Saunders WSA, Becker JS (2015) A discussion of resilience and sustainability: land use planning recovery from the Canterbury earthquake sequence, New Zealand. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 14:73–81

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Spittal MJ, McClure J, Siegert RJ, Walkey FH (2008) Predictors of two types of earthquake preparation: survival activities and mitigation activities. Environ Behav 40(6):798–817

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Statistics New Zealand (2013) Area unit 2013. https://datafinder.stats.govt.nz/layer/25743-area-unit-2013/. Accessed 2 Dec 2018

  32. Statistics New Zealand 2013 Census (2013) https://archive.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports. Accessed 20 Nov 2018

  33. Statistics New Zealand (2017) Area unit population projections. https://archive.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/estimates_and_projections/area-unit-population-projections.aspx. Accessed 1 Nov 2018

  34. Statistics New Zealand (2019) New Zealand general social survey. https://archive.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/well-being/nzgss-info-releases.aspx. Accessed 5 Agu 2019

  35. Turner RH, Nigg JM, Paz DH (1986) Waiting for disaster: earthquake watch in California. Univ of California Press

  36. U.S. Geological Survey, ShakeMap (2018) Earthquake ground motion and shaking intensity maps: U.S. Geological Survey. https://earthquake.usgs.gov/shakemap. Accessed 14 Nov 2018

  37. Wood A, Noy I, Parker M (2016) The Canterbury rebuild five years on from the Christchurch earthquake. Reserve Bank N Z Bull 79(3):3

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank Ilan Noy for helpful comments. Hanna also thanks the Resilience National Science Challenge for financial support.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hanna Habibi.

Ethics declarations

Declarations

The results in this paper are not official statistics. They have been created for research purposes from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) managed by Statistics New Zealand. The opinions, findings, recommendations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are those of the authors, not Statistics NZ or Victoria University of Wellington. Access to the anonymized data used in this study was provided by Statistics NZ in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. Only people authorized by the Statistics Act 1975 are allowed to see data about a particular person, household, business, or organisation, and the results in this paper have been confidentialized to protect these groups from identification. Careful consideration has been given to the privacy, security, and confidentiality issues associated with using administrative and survey data in the IDI. Further detail can be found in the Privacy impact assessment for the Integrated Data Infrastructure available from www.stats.govt.nz.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 4, 5 and 6.

Table 4 Table of Modified Mercalli Index (MMI) Scale.
Table 5 Cronbach's alpha of the measure of preparedness
Table 6 Estimates for each preparedness activity

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Habibi, H., Feld, J. The effects of earthquake exposure on preparedness in the short and long term: a difference-in-differences estimation. Nat Hazards 104, 1443–1463 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-04227-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Natural hazards
  • Disasters
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Risk analysis
  • Risk management