“We always think it's never going to happen to us”: Understanding What Motivates Communities to Engage in Emergency Preparedness

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Maher, Tera; Toh, Christine
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Nebraska at Omaha
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 0019-0028
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.3


Community-based disaster risk reduction is an effective approach for emergency management to address the needs of communities. This approach focuses on identifying the community-specific needs and context of emergency management in that area to develop technologies that help mitigate effects of disasters. The complex network of community, technology, and user motivation makes it challenging to understand how to encourage users to adopt preparation efforts, as opposed to reactive measures that have been shown to be less effective and can lead to inequitable results. To address this research gap, qualitative interviews were conducted with participants from one medium-sized midwestern city in the United States to understand how community members think about preparation and make decision about adopting preventative technologies. The results of the qualitative analysis reveal that there were 5 main themes that are important to consider when developing technologies for emergency preparedness; Importance of communication during emergencies, the role of technology in emergency management, unequal access to resources, reaction instead of preparation, and motivation to engage in community preparedness and response.

Keywords: Design methodology, Design process, User centred design, emergency management, community resilience

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