Assessing Households Preparedness for Earthquakes: An Exploratory Study in the Development of a Valid and Reliable Persian-version Tool

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Introduction: Iran is placed among countries suffering from the highest number of earthquake casualties. Household preparedness, as one component of risk reduction efforts, is often supported in quake-prone areas. In Iran, lack of a valid and reliable household preparedness tool was reported by previous disaster studies. This study is aimed to fill this gap by developing a valid and reliable tool for assessing household preparedness in the event of an earthquake.

Methods: This survey was conducted through three phases including literature review and focus group discussions with the participation of eight key informants, validity measurements and reliability measurements. Field investigation was completed with the participation of 450 households within three provinces of Iran. Content validity, construct validity, the use of factor analysis; internal consistency using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, and test-retest reliability were carried out to develop the tool.

Results: Based on the CVIs, ranging from 0.80 to 0.100, and exploratory factor analysis with factor loading of more than 0.5, all items were valid. The amount of Cronbach’s alpha (0.7) and test-retest examination by Spearman correlations indicated that the scale was also reliable. The final instrument consisted of six categories and 18 questions including actions at the time of earthquakes, nonstructural safety, structural safety, hazard map, communications, drill, and safety skills.

Conclusion: Using a Persian-version tool that is adjusted to the socio-cultural determinants and native language may result in more trustful information on earthquake preparedness. It is suggested that disaster managers and researchers apply this tool in their future household preparedness projects.
Further research is needed to make effective policies and plans for transforming preparedness knowledge into behavior.