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Disaster preparedness and cultural factors: A comparative study in Romania and Malta

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Original languageEnglish
JournalDisasters
Early online date4 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2020

Abstract

This exploratory study investigates the relationships between citizens’ disaster preparedness and cultural factors in Romania and Malta. Methodologically, we collected quantitative and qualitative data during two Citizen Summits, which consisted of a mix of real time survey and focus group discussions. The results point at two specific cultural factors, which may bridge this “gap” and be operationalised for improving citizens’ disaster preparedness. In Malta, the data revealed how community cohesion is transformed from a personal into a cultural value, which holds the potential to encourage transforming preparedness intentions into actual preparedness behaviour. In Romania, findings highlight the ambivalent aspects of trusting behaviour as a cultural norm on the one hand, distrust in authorities based on experience and unmet expectations on the other, and social media use, which may reduce the tension between trust and distrust, and thus foster successful disaster-risk-related communication.

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