Journal article

Increasing Preparedness for Wildfires by Informing Residents of Their Community's Social Norms

Piers DL Howe, Jennifer Boldero, Ilona M McNeill, Adriana Vargas-Saenz, John Handmer

NATURAL HAZARDS REVIEW | ASCE-AMER SOC CIVIL ENGINEERS | Published : 2018

Abstract

Despite being informed about the risks of wildfires and what can be done to reduce these risks, many Australian residents in areas prone to wildfires still do not adequately prepare for them. A more effective strategy is needed to encourage residents to become better prepared for wildfires. Studies have shown that communicating social norms, such as what others typically do (i.e., the descriptive norm) and think should be done (i.e., the injunctive norm), is an effective way of modifying behavior. Two pilot studies were run in which participants played a game where they simulated preparing for a wildfire. A social norm message was found to significantly increase wildfire preparedness in this..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a grant from the 2014-2015 Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme administered by Emergency Management Victoria (Australia), and from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. The authors also thank the CFA Victoria for their advice and assistance throughout this project.