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Crisis preparation, media use, and information seeking during Hurricane Ike: Lessons learned for emergency communication

Jennifer A. Burke, PhD, Patric R. Spence, PhD, Kenneth A. Lachlan, PhD


This study was a replication and extension of a previous work that examined crisis preparation, information- seeking patterns, and media use in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A quantitative survey study was undertaken to examine the same variables after Hurricane Ike. Surveys were collected from 691 Hurricane Ike evacuees. Respondents were more likely to have an evacuation plan or emergency kit than those displaced by Katrina, and older respondents were less likely than younger respondents to have an emergency kit in place. Women, African Americans, and older respondents indicated a greater desire for information, with African American respondents desiring information concerning government responses, evacuation efforts, and rescue operations. Television and interpersonal exchanges emerged as the most commonly used sources for information. The findings are discussed in terms of pragmatic implications for emergency management practitioners regarding message design and placement.


crisis communication, information seeking, race, gender

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