Objective: This study examined factors that were associated with the effectiveness of pre-existing household emergency plans during the 2011 EF5 Joplin and EF4 Tuscaloosa tornadoes. We focused on whether discussing with family members helped increase the plan’s effectiveness. Methods: A telephone survey based on random sampling was conducted in 2012 with 1006 respondents in both cities. Each city experienced huge losses, injuries, and casualties. The working sample included 494 respondents who had a household emergency plan in place before these tornadoes. Results: Multinomial logistic regression showed that discussing with family members increased the helpfulness of the plan in Joplin, where people had not experienced tornadoes frequently and were less prepared for tornadoes relative to residents in Tuscaloosa. Conclusions: This study provides empirical evidence on the importance of encouraging family involvement when making household emergency plans, especially in places that are less prepared for disasters than those that are better prepared.
- Disaster preparedness
- Household emergency plan