The Perfect Storm: The Religious Apocalyptic Imagination and Personal Disaster Preparedness
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Using the Citizen Corps Personal Disaster Preparedness PDP Model as a framework, this thesis examines the relationship between religious apocalyptic beliefs and disaster preparedness motivations in the United States. Four focus groups were convened with members of the American public who reported holding religious beliefs that included an end-times doctrine. Findings include the following 1 estimations of likelihood, impact and response efficacy were not significantly influenced by religious end-times beliefs 2 beliefs in biblical prophesy did not alter the cognitive heuristics that have been shown to influence personal risk assessment 3 spiritual beliefs motivated spiritual preparedness while material or secular concerns motivated actual completion of FEMA-recommended preparations and 4 millennialist beliefs provided high spiritual self-efficacy, but it did not correlate with high material self-efficacy, which is essential to material preparation. Recommendations are made for leveraging high spiritual self-efficacy in millennialist faith groups to further DHSs mission of disaster resiliency. Suggestions include building a ThreatEfficacy profile specific to the religious populations that holds strong eschatological beliefs, with distinctions between pre-, post- and amillenialism, as well as Christian and non-Christian populations.
- Humanities and History
- Safety Engineering