Modelling earthquake hazard preparedness during recovery in Nepal : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Emergency Management at Massey University, School of Psychology, Wellington, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Preparedness is a vital component of disaster risk reduction (DRR), but more often communities fail to prepare for disasters adequately. Theory-based approaches have found prominence for helping to identify the factors that drive preparedness behaviour of the population. However, there has been a limited empirical validation of these theories of preparedness in post-disaster recovery contexts. Further, their application has been mostly limited to culturally individualistic and developed countries, and there is a great need for their application in the setting of developing countries where disaster impacts are often most severe. This study, therefore, aimed to investigate the preparedness of a population in a post-disaster recovery scenario in a developing country. A mixed method research design with a household questionnaire survey (n=306) followed by a follow-up qualitative study driven by semi-structured interviews (n=11) was adopted to conduct this study. The outcomes of the study include 1) development of a conceptual model predicting earthquake hazard preparedness after reviewing the existing theories and models applied in the setting of natural hazards; 2) empirical validation of the proposed conceptual model predictions by analysing quantitative data collected through household survey conducted in two villages in Dhading district, of central Nepal; 3) identification of factors and processes underlying people’s decisions related to recovery efforts and preparedness to future events in a post-disaster context derived by developing a hierarchical value map from the qualitative interview data. The quantitative findings from the survey data justify the capability of the proposed model to assess the interaction of individual, community and institutional factors to predict household’s intentions to prepare in a post-disaster recovery scenario. Furthermore, the qualitative findings support the quantitative findings and provide evidence for the influence of socio-cultural values of Nepalese society on household preparedness decision-making during post-disaster recovery. The qualitative findings also provide evidence of additional predictors those need to be considered in future modelling of preparedness. Further, the qualitative findings show that people’s preparedness decisions and recovery efforts are influenced by personal beliefs, community efforts, and community and institutional collaborations during the post-disaster recovery period. Understanding of population preparedness in a post-disaster recovery is limited in both developed and developing countries. Thus this research makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge on population preparedness in the post-disaster context in a developing country. The findings further contribute to any future study on developing theoretical foundations for the preparedness of populations in both developed and developing countries. The application of the outcomes of this study is evident as it is already cited for its theoretical, and methodological rigour.
Earthquakes, Nepal, Safety measures, Emergency management, Planning, Hazard mitigation