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Journal cover: Disaster Prevention and Management

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Online from: 1992

Subject Area: Environmental Management/Environment

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Effectiveness of educational tools for hurricane resilience in homes

Document Information:
Title:Effectiveness of educational tools for hurricane resilience in homes
Author(s):Tyler Strayhorn, (Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA), Sudipta Dasmohapatra, (Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA), Dave Tilotta, (Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA), Phil Mitchell, (Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Citation:Tyler Strayhorn, Sudipta Dasmohapatra, Dave Tilotta, Phil Mitchell, (2012) "Effectiveness of educational tools for hurricane resilience in homes", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 21 Iss: 4, pp.433 - 444
Keywords:Education, Home resilience, Hurricanes, Natural disaster, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09653561211256143 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This work was funded by the Department of Homeland Security – sponsored Southeast Region Research Initiative (SERRI) at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The authors would like to thank the members of the Resilient Home Program (RHP) team for their advice throughout the study, Mr Steven Pires (Graduate Research Assistant at NCSU) for helping moderate the focus groups and above all, the focus group participants for their time and inputs.

Purpose – In the disaster mitigation community, one of the most important tasks is that of information transfer prior to, and following natural disasters. The purpose of this research project was to increase the understanding of key aspects (such as attractiveness and educational value) that influence the utility and effectiveness of educational media tools for home resilience during hurricanes.

Design/methodology/approach – A total of three types of educational media were developed – pulp board coasters, tri-fold pamphlets, and a web hosted video. The contents of these media were developed based on data from federal agencies, as well as scholarly articles and technical reports to form an inclusive body of information. Several focus groups of homeowners and potential homeowners were held to evaluate participant's preference of these three media tools with regards to their usefulness for making homes safer during natural disasters, specifically during wind and wind-driven rain events (e.g. hurricanes).

Findings – Analysis of the focus groups indicate that media use (based on disaster prevention home resilience practices) is highly dependent on the target audience or the stakeholder group (e.g. consumers look for different information content as compared to the builders). While all three media were indicated by the participants to have merit, the pamphlet was preferred aesthetically and was most likely to be used by homeowners. In addition, the study found that the usefulness of the tools depends on the ease of understanding and implementation of the best practices and ease of access to the tools (targeted location for each media).

Research limitations/implications – The findings of the study have implications for the entire disaster educational community. Although the findings are mostly qualitative and the small sample used in the focus groups limits the generalize ability to the entire population of the USA, nevertheless, future educational information and tools used should follow easy to understand language, be illustrated with examples and pictures, and be placed at convenient locations for homeowners to access.

Originality/value – By understanding how to better reach homeowners with information on home resilience, information can be more effectively disseminated to the public which allows for efficient use of tools as well as funds.

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