Analysis of Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management 2004 awareness and preparedness survey

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Leonard, G.S.; Paton, D.; Johnston, D.M.; Mitchell, J. 2004 Analysis of Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management 2004 awareness and preparedness survey . Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 2004/36 57 p.


Abstract: The 2003 awareness and preparedness postal survey sampled hazard, risk and emergency response awareness, preparedness and perceptions from a random sample of Canterbury residents, and a more limited sample of organisations. More vulnerable and marginalised groups tend to be under-represented in the sample. Until additional data is acquired specifically from members of these latter groups, the plans should be qualified accordingly. There is generally a high level of awareness of the relevant types of hazard that present a risk to the Canterbury region. When respondents were asked to volunteer hazards, earthquake is clearly the most commonly perceived hazard, followed by fire and flood. A similar list of hazards was volunteered by organisations. Responses indicate high perceived risk from natural and technological (e.g. water supply failure) sources, and from public health hazards. Respondents generally had a relatively high perception that one’s own actions can affect the effect of an event. Such high outcome expectancy is alarming in that awareness that something can be done, combined with the high awareness of hazards, is only translating into only moderate intention to complete readiness activities and even lower levels of action to this end. These low levels are consistent across New Zealand CDEM preparedness studies. Most organisations had completed a hazard assessment and they generally reported higher levels of completion of preparedness measures than residents, but in absolute terms their preparedness was still low to moderate. While nearly three quarters of residents perceived the local Civil Defence organisation as being ideally suited to assist with emergency preparations, or as having some distinct benefit, this belief does not translate into more active links. The CDEM Group need to work to be able to incorporate emergent behaviour. Planning within the Canterbury CDEM Group needs to take into account a paradigm that exists nationwide: relative high awareness of hazards and understanding of the related risk are in contrast with (a) moderate levels of intention to prepare and (b) low levels of actual preparedness and engagement with emergency management organisations and community groups. (auth/DG)