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Citizen Preparedness Research

Citizen Preparedness Reviews

Citizen Preparedness Reviews (CPR) are published periodically by FEMA to summarize research findings in the field of disaster preparedness and to support local efforts to achieve greater community resilience. A summary of each CPR is provided below with a link to the full document or you may order a copy of CPR's (1-5) through the FEMA Distribution Center by calling 1-800-480-2520.

  • CPR Issue 7: Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Planning: Patterns and Findings from Current Research (Winter 2011) - To help assess the level of business continuity planning and disaster resilience, CPR Issue 7 provides a summary of publicly available survey data on disaster preparedness and business continuity planning conducted between September 11, 2001, and November 2009. Download CPR Issue 7 (24-page PDF; 1.46 MB)

  • CPR Issue 6: Bringing Youth Preparedness Education to the Forefront: A Literature Review and Recommendations (Summer 2010) - CPR Issue 6 summarizes research and evaluations in the field of youth disaster preparedness and education. Findings based on this literature review are presented in three principal categories: individual/youth preparedness education, school programs and curricula, and community engagement for youth preparedness. The report then concludes with recommended practices for youth disaster education and research to help achieve greater levels of preparedness activities among children and their families. Download CPR Issue 6 (23-page PDF; 1.43 MB)

  • CPR Issue 5: Update on Citizen Preparedness Research (Fall 2007) - CPR Issue 5 provides an update on citizen disaster preparedness research conducted since spring 2006. Since that time, several key studies have been released that allow us to understand how Americans. perspective disaster preparedness have or have not changed. Download CPR Issue 5 (18-page PDF; 2.11 MB)

  • CPR Issue 4: Citizen Corps Personal Behavior Change Model for Disaster Preparedness (Fall 2006) - CPR Issue 4 introduces a model to describe segments of the population based on their perceptions of threat and efficacy relative to disaster preparedness. For each audience segment the model provides associated areas of focus for outreach and social marketing designed to target specific barriers and motivations. This model can be used to help make audience research and outreach efforts more effective in order to develop a sustained culture of preparedness. Download CPR Issue 4 (15-page PDF; 2.30 MB)

  • CPR Issue 3: Patterns in Current Research and Future Research Opportunities (Summer 2006) - CPR Issue 3 examines patterns in citizen preparedness research to date and identifies opportunities to fill existing gaps to develop more effective citizen preparedness initiatives in the future. Download CPR Issue 3 (11-page PDF; 1.19 MB)

  • CPR Issue 2: A Post-Katrina Assessment (Spring 2006) - While there had been significant developments in the realm of preparedness research prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, these tragic events have resulted in an even greater emphasis on preparedness research. The five national surveys identified in CPR Issue 2 can be used to determine how these recent disasters may have impacted Americans’ perspectives and actions toward preparedness. Download CPR Issue 2 (14-page PDF; 1.35 MB)

  • CPR Issue 1: Methodological Considerations and Key Findings in Preparedness Research (Summer 2005) - CPR Issue 1 explains the methodology used to develop the Citizen Preparedness Review database of research surveys and a general review of the research environment, including a typology of the research that has been conducted. This report discusses some of the relevant findings and trends in data and examines why results from similar surveys are often divergent. Download CPR Issue 1 (19-page PDF; 1.83 MB)

Citizen Preparedness Surveys Database

Since 2005, the Citizen Preparedness Survey Database serves as a repository for disaster preparedness-related research studies. The database is updated annually to include new key search terms and surveys made available online in the past year. Studies included in the database meet the following criteria:

  • Be a survey of the general public at the national, regional, or city level (and may also sample special populations, e.g., Katrina evacuees, businesses, or schools);
  • Examine individual or organizational concerns about, or preparedness for, a disaster or terrorist attack;
  • Be a survey of U.S. residents; and
  • Be conducted after September 11, 2001.

If you are aware of relevant survey that is not included in this database, please contact The below links will take you to the most recent updated copies.

Download the Citizen Corps Survey Database Description, Methodology, and Inventory Update (5-page PDF; 202.37 KB)

Download the Disaster Preparedness Surveys Database: Public, Businesses, and Schools (69-page PDF; 945.56 KB)

Increasing Citizen Preparedness Through Applied Research:
Proceedings of a Research Roundtable

The Research Roundtable, Increasing Citizen Preparedness Through Applied Research, was held on February 21, 2007 in Washington, D.C., and brought together two critical communities involved in disaster preparedness: those that conduct primary research and those that direct outreach and communication initiatives to increase the level of citizen preparedness. Approximately 35 invited attendees were present, representing a range of research disciplines, national, state, and local government centers, institutes and offices, and non-profit organizations currently engaged in disaster preparedness work. Following morning, afternoon roundtable discussions were held to examine key research on motivators and barriers to citizen preparedness, explored approaches to better sharing and utilizing research to inform outreach strategies, and sought to identify high-priority research needs for the future.  

Download the Roundtable Report (23-page PDF; 911 KB)

Public Readiness Index

The Council for Excellence in Government has created a Public Readiness Index (PRI) to help individuals, families and communities measure their Readiness Quotient (RQ). Find out how other Americans measured up and check your own RQ.

Download the Public Readiness Index (27-page PDF; 1.95 MB)

Citizen Corps Survey Findings

Personal Preparedness In America: Findings From the 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey (Revised Dec 2009)

FEMA's Citizen Corps Surveys offer comprehensive data on the public's thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors related to preparedness and community safety for multiple types of hazards.  Findings from these surveys provide valuable insights for increasing personal preparedness, civic engagement, and community resilience.  These findings are particularly relevant as we prepare for a possible pandemic flu outbreak, hurricane season, and other hazards.

Results from this study have important implications for the development of more effective communication and outreach strategies to achieve greater levels of preparedness and participation.

Review the report findings