Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin D. Berna

Second Advisor

Judith McKay

Third Advisor

Neil H. Katz


conflict resolution, disaster, hurricane, preparedness, resilience, weather


Hurricanes are billion-dollar disasters, and current climate models suggest that their frequency and strength will only get worse because of global warming. Gulf Coast residents living in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas worry about hurricane season annually and the goal of this dissertation was to measure their hurricane preparedness. This study surveyed 971 participants who have experienced hurricanes. Building on the theoretical foundations of quantitative survey research, the researcher conducted the study with the goal of answering the following questions: How do families in The Gulf Coast prepare for hurricanes, and how do local authorities prepare for the holistic impact of a natural disaster crisis? Hurricane preparedness was the dependent variable and the hypotheses tested include Gulf Coast residents are not prepared for hurricanes and Gulf Coast residents are not prepared for hurricane recovery. The results indicated that most of the participants experienced five or more hurricanes, are not fully prepared, and many are still trying to recover from the last destructive hurricane they experienced. Lack of hurricane preparedness means that more families will suffer due to lack of communication, planning, and as a result in more destruction and death.

Available for download on Saturday, June 21, 2025