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Identifying Roles for Public Administrators to Foster Anticipatory Altruism for Severe Weather Preparedness

Jennifer Le, Maitlyn Victoria Lydahl, Mark Shafer and Aimee L. Franklin
PAQ, Vol. 45 No. 3, 299-314 (2021)

Will people choose behaviors that benefit all persons in the community before a severe weather event? Or, will they choose behaviors that benefit themselves only? Knowing the answer to these questions can inform public administrators about the level of anticipatory altruism in their community. With this knowledge, they can design strategic plans that leverage a willingness to coproduce community preparedness. Over four hundred people in six severe weather and tornado prone states answered survey questions inviting them to choose between severe weather preparation options that benefit the community or the individual. Overall, our findings suggest a modest level of support for community preparation options, anticipatory altruism demonstrated by a willingness to pay, and intergenerational equity in their choices. These findings are salient in a time when governments may need to cut funding and rely more and more on foundations, nonprofits, and private efforts to provide a wide range of services. Government planners and emergency managers can use our results to strategically nudge residents into making severe weather preparations as well as to estimate support for co-production efforts with citizens to prepare the community for disasters.
Key Words: Altruism; Emergency preparedness; Sincere preferences; Willingness to pay; Intergenerational equity

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