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Case Study on Hurricane Sandy Survivors Experience



The goal of this qualitative single-case study was to investigate the problem with more than 50% of Americans admitting they are not prepared for natural disasters before they occur. The sample for this study was 24 purposively selected Hurricane Sandy survivors in New York and New Jersey who were 25 years of age or older. Data was collected through ten open-ended interview questions presented during telephone interviews. This study was guided by the theoretical framework of normative risk management decision making. Thematic analysis was used to code and analyze the data collected. This study was focused on answering two broad research questions related to why more than 50% of Americans are not prepared for natural disasters before they occur and the factors that prevent them from preparing. The major recommendations for future research and practice were related to the lack of a distinction between individuals who perceive they are prepared (who are deemed unprepared according to regulatory guidelines) and the possibility they are included with the more than 50% of Americans who are not prepared although they require modification of preparedness behavior while individuals who are not prepared require adoption of preparedness behavior. The other recommendations describe the factors that prevent individuals from preparing as lack of notification and signaling communications that indicate a natural disaster is imminent and expected to be severe; and individual disbelief in the validity of the communications. This study contributes to filling the gap in the literature related to the lived experience with natural disasters.


Hurricane Sandy, Disaster Preparedness, Climate change, Natural disaster

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