This research examines perceived and actual preparedness for two types of natural hazard risks: earthquakes in the Los Angeles County area and hurricanes within the New Orleans metropolitan area. Using data collected from a sample of households in these regions, the influence of individuals’ confidence in local government to manage a disaster and exposure to disaster preparedness information sources were tested as explanations for levels of perceived and actual preparedness. Regression analyses show that a high level of confidence in local government to manage a disaster and exposure to more preparedness information sources were associated with a higher level of perceived preparedness. No support for a potential dampening effect of confidence in local government on household preparedness actions was found. The results also reveal only limited support for the impact of information exposure on actual preparedness. The results for actual preparedness vary between the study areas; therefore, we follow the analysis with a discussion of these differences and the implications drawn from the research.
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