Public complacency under repeated emergency threats : Some empirical evidence

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-78
Journal / PublicationJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


In the summer of 2004, the state of Florida was struck by four major hurricanes consecutively. Using data collected from jurisdictions experiencing hurricanes, this study examines public complacency defined as the tendency to ignore hurricane threat warnings. Results indicate that the public showed signs of complacency under repeated emergency threat warnings and there is a need to manage or reduce such tendency because a complacent public is less prepared for emergencies. Importantly, the study finds that the government plays a role in developing effective communication strategies to reduce public complacency and to enhance public preparedness in response to disasters.