Crisis Warning Apps: Investigating the Factors Influencing Usage and Compliance with Recommendations for Action

AbstractEffectively disseminating warnings of threats such as floods, thunderstorms, or terrorist attacks is essential for saving lives in affected areas. With the widespread use of mobile devices such as smartphones, mobile warning applications (warning apps) enable the efficient transmission of warnings via push-notifications. Use of warning apps in crisis or threat situations, however, has received little attention by researchers. Therefore, we investigate in this study the factors that affect the use of warning apps and the intention to comply with recommendations for action transmitted via such apps. We rely on prior research that studied compliance intention during campus emergencies, research on warning and risk communication, and research on technology usage. We find that risk perception, trust, and subjective norm positively influence both use of a warning app and compliance intention, whereas concerns about data security have negative effects. Our findings inform research in the context of risk communication and technology usage as well as providers of warning apps seeking to promote their apps effectively.

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