Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Disaster Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Dean Kyne

Second Advisor

Dr. William Donner

Third Advisor

Dr. Arlett Lomeli


University students are usually young and have low-income resources, live in dormitories or low-rent housing near the university, and have little to no disaster experience. Therefore, they are vulnerable to disasters due to a lack of resources for preparation. To better understand the vulnerability of students to disasters, the study aims to assess the perceptions of disaster risk, climate change awareness, and the level of disaster preparedness of students at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). In this study, we collected data from 320 students who participated in an online survey. The study’s findings provide an understanding of risk perception, climate change awareness, and disaster preparedness among UTRGV students. Based on the results, recommendations were delivered to the UTRGV’s emergency management department and other key stakeholders for planning purposes.


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