The Protective Action Decision Model Applied to Evacuation During the Three Mile Island Crisis

March 1984 (VOL. 2, NO. 1)

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Interviews with 1505 persons living within 55 miles of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant three months after the crisis were analyzed to test whether the protective action decision model could predict evacuation behavior during the crisis period. Results indicate that severity, susceptibility, barrier and cost variables were, as suggested by the model, related to evacuation behavior. In addition, several modifications to the model were suggested by the findings including a need to account for why conflicting information may increase evacuation in nuclear disasters while decreasing evacuation in nonnuclear disasters.