The impact of a national earthquake campaign on public preparedness: 2011 campaign in Israel as a case study.

Shenhar, G., Radomislensky, I., Rozenfeld, M., & Peleg, K. (2015). The impact of a national earthquake campaign on public preparedness: 2011 campaign in Israel as a case study. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 9(2), 138-144.

Objective: The most effective way to reduce the number of expected victims and amount of damage from earthquakes is by effective preparedness. The Israeli government launched a national campaign to change its citizens’ behavior. This study assessed the effectiveness of the campaign on the Israeli population.

Methods: The survey was conducted 2 weeks after the campaign ended. It was based on a randomly selected representative sample of the adult Israeli population.

Results: Of the 42% of the Israeli public exposed to the campaign, 37% estimated that a strong earthquake might occur in Israel during the coming years. Only 23% of those who were exposed to the campaign (9% of the Israeli public) said that the campaign improved their awareness; 76% reported that after their exposure to the campaign they did nothing to prepare. However, exposure to the campaign significantly increased the knowledge of dealing with earthquakes (30% vs 21% among those not exposed).

Conclusions: Although the campaign increased knowledge and awareness, it did not achieve the goal of improving public preparedness. The campaign was not effective by itself, and it should be part of a multiyear activity.

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