Barriers to preparing for disasters: Age differences and caregiving responsibilities

Zhen Cong, Zhirui Chen, Daan Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study examined age differences in barriers to preparing for disasters and how caregiving responsibilities are associated with these barriers among different age groups. Using a sample of 1142 individuals from the 2017 Federal Emergency Management Agency National Household Survey, binary and multinomial logistic regressions were conducted to investigate the likelihood of encountering any or one of the two types of barriers, namely, barriers related to coping appraisal (i.e., capacity) and those related to threat appraisal (i.e., risk perception). Age was the key predictor and was categorized into five groups: 18–34, 35–49, 50–64, 65–74, and 75+. The results showed that the 18–34, 35–49, and 75+ age groups were more likely to have coping appraisal barriers than those aged between 65 and 74. In addition, being a caregiver increased the likelihood of having coping appraisal barriers. Interestingly, relative to the 65–74 age group, being a caregiver in the 18–34, 35–49, and 50–64 age groups would be more likely to have coping appraisal barriers. Our findings highlighted age patterns and heterogeneity among older adults. This study also directed attention to how disaster preparation behaviors were shaped by life course experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102338
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Caregiving
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Life course perspective
  • Older adults
  • Protection motivation theory
  • Socioemotional selectivity theory


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