Beyond Flood Preparedness: Effects of Experience, Trust, and Perceived Risk on Preparation Intentions and Financial Risk-Taking in China

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Sustainability 2021, 13(24)


Psychology, flood; risk perception; trust; flood preparedness


Flooding, already the most damaging type of natural disaster in China, is expected to become increasingly costly around the world. However, few studies have examined residents’ flood-preparedness intentions and the effect of flood experience and other variables on general financial risk-taking. This study explored the effects of Chinese residents’ previous flood experiences, trust in public flood protection, and flood-risk perception on flood-preparedness intentions and attitudes towards financial risk-taking in general. Study 1 surveyed residents in a flooded area (n = 241) and a non-flooded area (n = 248); Study 2 surveyed a non-flooded area (n = 1599). The relations between the variables were tested through structural-equation modelling (SEM). Overall, the two studies found that residents’ flood experiences, trust in public protection, and flood-risk perception not only predicted their flood preparedness but also their financial risk aversion. This study highlights the importance of residents’ trust in public flood protection for flood risk management and communication, especially for those who have not yet experienced flooding.