Evaluating Disaster Education: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s TsunamiReady™ Community Program and Risk Awareness Education Efforts in New Hanover County, North Carolina

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This chapter describes the evaluation of the TsunamiReady™-based educational materials distributed in New Hanover County, North Carolina. The authors evaluate whether educational materials about tsunami risk increased the perception of hazard risk, information, knowledge, and preparedness behaviors. There are three main findings. First, local knowledge of regional hazards remains a strong predictor of changes in attitudes and behavior. Second, educational materials about unlikely hazards have only a moderate impact. Third, information seeking and preparedness behavior is a function of general psychological attributes such as personal risk calculations. The authors argue that a community’s hazard experiences and the frequency and severity of hazard events play an important role in receptiveness to educational efforts as well as disaster preparedness.