The Role of Education on Disaster Preparedness: Case Study of 2012 Indian Ocean Earthquakes on Thailand's Andaman Coast

Raya Muttarak, Wiraporn Pothisiri

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate how well residents of the Andaman coast in Phang Nga province, Thailand, are
prepared for earthquakes and tsunami. It is hypothesized that formal education can promote disaster preparedness because
education enhances individual cognitive and learning skills, as well as access to information. A survey was conducted of 557
households in the areas that received tsunami warnings following the Indian Ocean earthquakes on 11 April 2012. Interviews
were carried out during the period of numerous aftershocks, which put residents in the region on high alert. The respondents
were asked what emergency preparedness measures they had taken following the 11 April earthquakes. Using the partial
proportional odds model, the paper investigates determinants of personal disaster preparedness measured as the number of
preparedness actions taken. Controlling for village effects, we find that formal education, measured at the individual, household,
and community levels, has a positive relationship with taking preparedness measures. For the survey group without past disaster
experience, the education level of household members is positively related to disaster preparedness. The findings also show that
disaster-related training is most effective for individuals with high educational attainment. Furthermore, living in a community
with a higher proportion of women who have at least a secondary education increases the likelihood of disaster preparedness.
In conclusion, we found that formal education can increase disaster preparedness and reduce vulnerability to natural hazards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalEcology & Society
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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