Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott Liu


disaster, disease outbreak, hazard, Issues Processes Model, motivation, terrorism


This research formed a descriptive frame of the current levels of emergency preparedness and applied Hallahan's Issues Processes Model to examine the relationship between knowledge, involvement, and emergency preparedness among the participants. The variables were measured in the context of self-perception. The research method involved a survey of students who are just becoming responsible for their personal emergency preparedness. The results suggest that students lack overall emergency preparedness measures and show that self-perceived knowledge is positively related to self-perceived emergency preparedness. Yet, higher self-perceived knowledge is negatively related to actual emergency preparedness actions. Thus, the more knowledgeable the participants believed themselves to be the less likely they were to have an active household emergency plan. The results did not support involvement as a predictor of personal emergency preparedness. The findings highlight a serious deficiency among the population sample. Knowledge of personal emergency preparedness and related motivators can improve overall preparedness on local, state, and federal levels. Little is known about the relationship between knowledge and personal emergency preparedness. This paper presents findings that may assist public relations professionals in creating messages that account for the lack of preparedness and the contrary relationship between perceived knowledge and actual personal emergency preparedness.