Trust in authorities during a disaster is linked to perceptions of how well they are prepared for a disaster


Finally, and as outlined by disaster management practitioners during the second Stakeholder Assembly, citizens' trust in authorities may also be influenced by their belief to what extent local authorities and/or emergency services trust citizens in disaster preparedness and disaster response. The results in Table 9 below (as shown in source document) show that only just over one out of four participants believe that local authorities trust citizens or trust citizens a lot that they are appropriately prepared in case of a disaster, and even less (16%) believe that citizens are trusted to be able to respond appropriately, whereas almost half of the participants (49%) believed that citizens are distrusted, or distrusted a lot, to be able to respond appropriately in a disaster situation. However, no significant correlations could be found between these results and the participants' responses regarding their trust in the different authorities, contradicting any hypotheses that citizens may distrust, or trust, authorities because they feel that they themselves are distrusted or trusted. There is, though, a weak correlation to the participants' likeliness of using mobile phone apps to submit information to authorities in case of a disaster (R=.252), and a weak to moderate correlation to the participants' likeliness of using social media for this purpose (R=.305). But there was no correlation found between citizens' trust/distrust in different authorities and such behavioural intentions. Accordingly, changing or motivating citizens' behaviours in this respect may require a strengthened belief that trust in preparing for and responding to disasters is mutual.

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