A value- and expectancy-based approach to understanding residents’ intended response to a wildfire threat

I.M. M. McNeill, Patrick D. Dunlop, T.C. C. Skinner, D.L. L. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


To motivate residents to evacuate early in case of a wildfire threat, it is important to know what factors underlie their response-related decision-making. The current paper examines the role of the value and expectancy tied to potential outcomes of defending vs evacuating on awareness of a community fire threat. A scenario study among 339 Western Australians revealed that residents intending to leave immediately on awareness of a community fire threat differ from those not intending to leave immediately in both value and expectancy. For one, intended leavers were more likely than those intending to defend their property to have children. Also, the data showed a trend towards intended leavers being less likely to have livestock. Furthermore, intended leavers placed less importance on the survival of their property than those with other expressed intentions. They also reported lower expectancies regarding the likelihood of achieving positive outcomes by defending than those intending to defend or wait and see before deciding what to do. Finally, intended leavers perceived it more likely that they would avoid harm to their pets by evacuating than those intending to defend throughout or wait and see. These findings have important implications for strategies to influence residents' response-related decision-making. © IAWF 2016.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-389
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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