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After a California Earthquake: Attitude and Behavior Change

Overview


Shortly before the Loma Prieta earthquake devastated areas of Northern California in 1989, Risa Palm and her associates had surveyed 2,500 homeowners in the area about their perception of risk from earthquakes. After the quake they surveyed the homeowners again and found that their perception of risk had increased but that most respondents were fatalistic and continued to ignore self-protective measures; those who personally experienced damage were more likely to buy insurance. A rare opportunity to analyze ...
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Overview


Shortly before the Loma Prieta earthquake devastated areas of Northern California in 1989, Risa Palm and her associates had surveyed 2,500 homeowners in the area about their perception of risk from earthquakes. After the quake they surveyed the homeowners again and found that their perception of risk had increased but that most respondents were fatalistic and continued to ignore self-protective measures; those who personally experienced damage were more likely to buy insurance. A rare opportunity to analyze behavior change directly before and after a natural disaster, this survey has implications for policy makers, insurance officials, and those concerned with risk management.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
As it happened, two geographers interviewed homeowners in northern California about earthquake insurance just a few months before the October 1989 shaker. So they asked them again afterwards. Still, almost none would voluntarily buy insurance. They recommend mandatory insurance in quake zones. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Risa Palm is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of geography at the University of Oregon. Michael Hodgson is assistant professor in geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
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Table of Contents


List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
1. Earthquake Hazards and Preparedness
Economic Exposures to Earthquake Risk
Mitigation Measures
The Adoption of Precautions
Judgment and Risk Behavior
Summary
2. Earthquake Insurance
The Nature and History of Earthquake Insurance
Earthquake Insurance Purchase Decision
Summary
3. Property in California
Nature of Residential Property
Property Values
Summary
4. Results of the Pre-Loma Prieta Study
Summary of Findings
Unanswered Questions
5. Insurance Purchase and Risk
Expected Purchase Patterns
Research Hypotheses
Summary
6. Study Design
The Loma Prieta Earthquake
Research Questions
Study Design
The Advisory Committee
Resurvey of Households
Summary
7. After the Earthquake: Changes in Attitudes and Behavior
General Patterns
Experience with the Loma Prieta Earthquake
Other Mitigation Activities
Reasons for Not Purchasing Insurance
Attitudes toward Future Earthquakes
Summary
8. Changes and Stability in Attitudes and Behavior: The Individual
Behavior and Attitude Change
Behavior and Attitude Stability: 1989 to 1990
Summary
9. Locational Analysis
Geographic Knowledge
Damage Experience and Geographic Knowledge
Insurance Adoption and Geographic Location
Conclusions
10. The Effects of Experience: Implications for Policy and Further Investigation
Earthquake Experience and Changes in Attitudes and Behavior
Implications for Policy
Implications of 1990 California Insurance Legislation
A Final Word
Appendix: Sample Questionnaire for Santa Clara County
References
Index
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