Disaster preparedness and cultural factors: a comparative study in Romania and Malta

Sandra Appleby-Arnold*, Noellie Brockdorff, Ivana Jakovljev, Sunčica Zdravković

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This exploratory study investigates the relationships between the disaster preparedness of citizens and cultural factors in Romania and Malta. With regard to methodology, quantitative and qualitative data were collected during two Citizen Summits, which consisted of a real-time survey and focus group discussions. The results point to two specific cultural factors that may bridge this ‘gap’ and be operationalised to enhance people's readiness for a disaster event. In Malta, the findings reveal how community cohesion is altered from a personal to a cultural value, which has the potential to encourage the transformation of preparedness intentions into actual preparedness behaviour. In Romania, meanwhile, the findings highlight the ambivalent aspects of trusting behaviour as a cultural norm on the one hand, and distrust in authorities based on experience and unmet expectations on the other hand. Social media use may reduce this tension between trust and distrust, and thus foster successful disaster risk-related communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-690
Number of pages27
Issue number3
Early online date6 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Citizen Summits
  • Community cohesion
  • Culture
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Readiness
  • Trust


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