Introduction: Despite efforts to increase earthquake preparedness (EP), the level of earthquake preparedness in Tehran is low, even when people acknowledge the risk they face. This problem has its roots in the beliefs of Tehran inhabitants about EP. This study is aimed to elicit the salient beliefs about earthquake preparedness among Tehran citizens.
Method: This is a deductive content analysis research. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) has been applied as the theoretical framework of the study. 132 semi-structured interviews have been conducted with Tehran heads of households and the obtained data have been analyzed.
Results: The interviews showed that the belief in the usefulness of the EP and the belief that “the EP can cause anxiety among family members” were the salient behavioral beliefs (the ones influencing the attitude towards a behavior). The main normative belief (which influences the subjective norms), was “my family doesn’t disagree with the EP” although most of the interviewees did not know about their families’ views. Finally, the main control belief (which is the basis of perceived behavioral control), was that “education can facitilates EP”.
Conclusion: Tehran inhabitants preparedness behaviors can be influenced by their behavioral, normative and control beliefs about preparedness. Recognition of these beliefs may assist policy makers and executives to develop a better understanding of the origins of the preparedness behaviors. Any interventions to change these behaviors should be made based on such knowledge.
Key words: Earthquake; preparedness; salient beliefs; theory of planned behavior