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Preparing for bushfires: understanding intentions

Paton, Douglas, Kelly, Gail, Buergelt, Petra T. and Doherty, Michael (2006). Preparing for bushfires: understanding intentions<br />. Disaster Prevention and Managment: An International Journal,15(4):566-575.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Preparing for bushfires: understanding intentions
Author Paton, Douglas
Kelly, Gail
Buergelt, Petra T.
Doherty, Michael
Journal Name Disaster Prevention and Managment: An International Journal
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 15
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0965-3562   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 566
End Page 575
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Field of Research 300605 Fire Management
Abstract Purpose
– To examine the relationship between behavioural intentions and preparing for bushfire hazards and to test the hypothesis that intentions can inform how people reason about their relationship with environmental hazards.


– Survey data were collected from 280 residents in high bushfire risk areas and analysed using multiple regression analysis. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with a theoretical sample drawn from those who completed the survey. Data were analysed using grounded theory analysis strategies using the ATLAS.ti data analysis programme following the procedures for open, axial, and selective coding.

– The analyses demonstrated that preparedness intentions reflect the outcomes of different ways of reasoning about their relationship with bushfire hazards and that “preparing” and “not preparing” represent discrete processes. Each outcome was supported by different attitudes towards preparing and by different predictor variables.

Research limitations/implications

– Preparing and not preparing for natural hazards should be conceptualised as separate processes and additional research into their origins and precursors is required.

Practical implications
– Separate risk communication strategies are needed to counter reasons for “not preparing” and facilitate “preparing”. Strategies should accommodate the attitudes and beliefs that underpin these outcomes. To facilitate sustained preparedness, strategies should assist people to negotiate issues required to arrive at a decision to adopt protective measures.


– Provides novel insights into the relationship between people and natural hazards. It identifies a need to re‐think how risk communication strategies are developed and delivered.
Keywords Fire
Risk management
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Created: Tue, 12 Apr 2016, 14:44:10 CST by Marion Farram