Individual Disaster Preparedness in Drought-and-Flood-Prone Villages in Northwest China: Impact of Place, Out-Migration and Community.


Guo C(1), Sim T(2)(3), Su G(4).
Author information:
(1)World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health Services, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hum, Hong Kong, China.
(2)Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hum, Hong Kong, China.
(3)S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore 599494, Singapore.
(4)Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, China.


Rural communities are generally more vulnerable to natural hazards when compared to urban communities. Moreover, rural communities are diverse and unique in their place, population, agricultural production and culture, which make it challenging for different rural settings to prepare for disasters. There is a little comparison made about the individual disaster preparedness among rural communities with different geographic landforms. In this study, we examined the individual disaster preparedness of rural residents in three drought-and-flood-prone villages with different landforms (plains, loess plateau and mountains) via a cross-sectional self-report structured questionnaire survey conducted in Northwest China. We also adopted an ecological framework to examine the determinants of villagers' individual disaster preparedness across different dimensions: place, individual sociodemographic factors, family socioeconomic status, hazard adaptations, community and neighbourhood influences. We found that place was a significant factor for disaster preparedness when controlling individual sociodemographic and family socioeconomic factors. The level of preparedness in the plains was higher than both mountains and plateau. Moreover, the villagers who had out-migrated to work reported a higher level of disaster preparedness than did local villagers. In addition, the community and neighbourhood played an important role in determining individual disaster preparedness. This research highlights the needs for tailored community-based disaster risk reduction programs to improve villagers' knowledge and skills of disaster preparedness.