Abstract

In the summer of 2004, the state of Florida was struck by four major hurricanes consecutively. Using data collected from jurisdictions experiencing hurricanes, this study examines public complacency defined as the tendency to ignore hurricane threat warnings. Results indicate that the public showed signs of complacency under repeated emergency threat warnings and there is a need to manage or reduce such tendency because a complacent public is less prepared for emergencies. Importantly, the study finds that the government plays a role in developing effective communication strategies to reduce public complacency and to enhance public preparedness in response to disasters.

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