The influence of risk awareness and government trust on risk perception and preparedness for natural hazards

Pamela C. Cisternas, Luis A. Cifuentes, Nicolás C. Bronfman, Paula B. Repetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Risk perception is considered the primary motivator for taking preparedness actions. But people with prior experience and a high-risk perception are not necessarily more prepared. This relationship is even more complex when assessing preparedness levels for hazards with different characteristics. These inconsistent findings can be explained by how preparedness has been measured and the influence of other factors, such as trust and risk awareness. Thus, the main goal of this study was to analyze the role of risk awareness and trust in authorities on risk perception and intention to prepare for natural hazards in a coastal city in Chile. A representative sample of the city of Concepción, located in the center-south zone of Chile (n = 585), completed a survey. We measured risk awareness, risk perception, trust in authorities, and intention to prepare for two hazards: earthquakes/tsunamis and floods. Through structural equation models, we tested five hypotheses. We found that the perception of risk maintained a direct and positive influence on the intention to prepare for both hazards. The results showed that awareness and risk perception influence the intention to prepare and should be considered different concepts. Finally, trust did not significantly influence risk perception when faced with known hazards for the population. Implications for understanding the relationship between risk perception and direct experience are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-348
Number of pages16
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • preparedness intention
  • risk awareness
  • risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Physiology (medical)


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