A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted to identify disaster
preparedness behaviour among rural people in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives by
interviewing 213 people. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from
ten islands from 15-20 January 2008. A Chi-square test was performed to find the
association among related factors and disaster preparedness behaviour.
The results revealed that more than half of the respondents had a good
level of disaster preparedness behaviour. In terms of the related factors towards
disaster preparedness, it was found that the following factors have statistically
significant association with preparedness behaviour: gender (p<.001), occupation
(p=0.023), income (p<.001), education (p<.001), types of houses lived in (p<.001),
knowledge (p<.001), perception (p=0.038), tidal flood experiences (p=0.030),
experience of tsunami (p=0.010), frequency of tidal flood experiences (p=0.037),
involvement in community-based tidal flood disaster preparedness activities
(p<.001), availability of information on tidal flood disaster preparedness (p=0.006)
and accessibility to information on tidal flood disaster preparedness (p=0.017).
It is recommended that sustaining a good level of knowledge and
preparedness behaviour is paramount for disaster preparedness in rural areas. Further
enhancement and strengthening of community-based awareness activities must be
emphasized and implemented. Disaster preparedness must be kept as a priority at
national and atoll (provincial) level planning for development and improving the
quality of life for people.