Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Community Development and Applied Economics

First Advisor

Trisha R. Shrum


This study explores the intricate relationships between risk perception, efficacy appraisal, and evacuation likelihood in the context of flooding among the United States public. The Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) developed by Witte (1992) serves as the theoretical framework for this study, emphasizing the two-pronged appraisal process of threat and efficacy, influencing individual responses to risk messaging. Analysis of the data delves into the relationships between risk perception and evacuation likelihood, offering insights into the public's understanding of flood risk and readiness for impending flood events. This study used Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to discern the impact of threat and efficacy appraisal on evacuation likelihood. The findings consistently revealed that efficacy appraisal significantly influences evacuation likelihood, highlighting its key role in the evacuation decision making process. The study used three Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFAs) with varying factor numbers (four, five, and six) to provide nuanced perspectives on latent variables within the EPPM. Notably, the five- and six-factor models demonstrate the necessity of modifying the EPPM, suggesting that response efficacy can be assessed through two dimensions: response efficacy of the government and response efficacy of evacuation. Overall, this study highlights the significance of efficacy appraisal in influencing evacuation likelihood within the context of flooding, offering valuable insights for both theoretical development and practical application in evacuation preparedness and emergency communication.



Number of Pages

102 p.