Exploring the Predictors of Organizational Preparedness for Natural Disasters

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Abstract

There is an extensive body of research on the determinants of disaster preparedness at the individual and household levels. The same cannot be said for the organizational level. Hence, the purpose of this study is to shed light on the predictors of organizational preparedness for natural disasters. Since leaders of organizations have an incentive to overstate their level of preparedness and because surveys of organizational leaders suffer from selection bias and low response rates, we take the novel approach of interviewing employees about the organizations that employ them. Using an online survey, we collected information from a national sample of 2,008 U.S. employees and estimated the predictors of preparedness at the organizational level. We find, among other results, that organization size (facility level) is a consistent predictor of preparedness at the organizational level. We conclude with policy recommendations and outline an agenda for future research on organizational preparedness for natural disasters.

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