Explaining Support for Seismic Loss-reduction Measures: Data from a Household Survey in the East Bay Region of Northern California

Tierney, Kathleen J.
Sheng, Xueweng
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Disaster Research Center
A willingness-to-pay framework is used to assess public support for further enhancing the seismic resistance of elements in the built environment. Using data from a survey of 727 households in the Oakland/East Bay Region, a series of models are tested in order to identify factors associated with willingness to pay to further strengthen public safety buildings, utility lifelines, transportation lifelines, schools, and residential and commercial buildings. A substantial portion of the sample expressed a willingness to pay at least something to strengthen one or more of these structures and systems, with public safety buildings and utility systems receiving the highest priority. Although a variety of factors influenced willingness to invest in strengthening different types of structures and systems, some factors did show a consistent influence across models. Those factors include gender, education, trust in government (particularly the State of California), and having experienced property damage and other problems following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Findings provide insight into which elements in the built environment community residents value most and help identify pockets of support for stronger earthquake safety measures in a seismically-vulnerable region.
Earthquake-General , Mitigation , Architecture , Economics , Social Factors , Survey