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What’s the Seismic Risk Perception in Italy?

Abstract

Risk perception is a fundamental element in the definition and the adoption of preventive counter-measures. In order to develop effective information and risk communication strategies, the perception of risks and the influencing factors should be known. This paper presents preliminary results of the first survey on seismic risk perception in Italy. The research design combines a psychometric and a cultural theoretical approach. More than 5,000 on-line questionnaires have been compiled from January 23rd till July 25th, 2013. The data collected show that seismic risk perception in Italy is strongly underestimated; 86 out of 100 Italian citizens, living in the most dangerous zone (namely Zone 1), do not have a correct perception of seismic hazards. From these observations we deem that extremely urgent measures are to be taken in Italy to find effective ways to communicate seismic risk.

Keywords

  • Risk perception
  • Seismic hazard
  • Hazard communication
  • Seismic risk

This study has benefited from funding provided by the Italian Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri—Dipartimento di Protezione Civile (DPC). This paper does not necessarily represent DPC official opinion and policies.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Research on risk perception has identified a range of perception patterns that relate to key characteristics of the risk itself or the context in which the risk is taken. These patterns are called semantic risk images. The semantic images allow individuals to classify various risks on the basis of a few salient characteristics. Reducing complexity by creating classes of similar phenomena is certainly a major strategy for coping with information overload and uncertainty (for further details see Renn 2008).

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Correspondence to Massimo Crescimbene .

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Crescimbene, M., La Longa, F., Camassi, R., Pino, N.A., Peruzza, L. (2014). What’s the Seismic Risk Perception in Italy?. In: Lollino, G., Arattano, M., Giardino, M., Oliveira, R., Peppoloni, S. (eds) Engineering Geology for Society and Territory - Volume 7. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-09303-1_13

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