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OBJECTIVES: To investigate specific challenges to Hong Kong's capacity for effective disaster response, we assessed perceived barriers to evacuation and citizens' self-efficacy. METHODS: Global positioning system software was used to determine random sampling locations across Hong Kong, weighted by population density. The resulting sample of 1023 participants (46.5% female, mean age 40.74 years) were invited to complete questionnaires on emergency preparedness, barriers to evacuation and self-efficacy. Latent profile analysis and multinomial logistic regression were used to identify self-efficacy profiles and predictors of profile membership. RESULTS: Only 11% of the sample reported feeling prepared to respond to a disaster. If asked to evacuate in an emergency, 41.9% of the sample cited significant issues that would preclude them from doing so. Self-efficacy was negatively associated with barriers to disaster response so that participants reporting higher levels of self-efficacy cited fewer perceived barriers to evacuation. CONCLUSIONS: Hong Kong has established effective strategies for emergency response, but concerns regarding evacuation and mobilisation remain. The findings indicate that improving self-efficacy for disaster response has potential to increase evacuation readiness.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Public Health

Publication Date





1051 - 1058


Asia, Decision-making, Disaster preparedness, Evacuation, Natural disaster, Self-efficacy, Adult, Disabled Persons, Disaster Planning, Emergency Shelter, Female, Hong Kong, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Mobility Limitation, Self Efficacy, Theft