Providing information to help individuals cope physically and psychologically with a disaster is critical in crisis communication. However, how individuals cope is relatively understudied. In particular, researchers have examined how people emotionally cope during different types of crises, but not in a natural disaster context and not religiosity. Yet, religiosity can be important during disasters, given that about 89% of adults in the United States believe in God (Pew Research Center, 2014). Through ten focus groups (N = 77) and a survey (N = 1,484), this study examines how residents of the Southeast United States cope in response to tornadoes. Findings indicate that participants experience anxiety and fear during a tornado, but fear and hope trigger physical action taking (e.g., sheltering in place or collecting supplies). Prayer during a tornado does not significantly predict action taking. Religiosity significantly predicts physical action taking.
Lim, Jungkyu Rhys, Brooke Fisher Liu, Michael Egnoto, and Holly A. Roberts. 2019. "Individuals’ Religiosity and Emotional Coping in Response to Disasters." Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management (April). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-5973.12263