Abstract

Japantown Prepared, a community-based disaster preparedness organization in San José, California’s historic Japantown, began a long-term partnership with the Department of Anthropology and the Organizational Studies Program at San José State University in 2016. This article is a study of one of their many collaborative projects, a disaster preparedness Business Certification Project meant to foster the development of disaster preparedness in the Japantown Business District. The project applied principles and methods of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social marketing by recruiting local businesses in Japantown’s popular business district to develop in-house disaster plans and then signal their preparedness with a prominently displayed certificate and a sticker with the Japantown Prepared logo in their front windows. We assess project implementation (design and recruitment) and identify opportunities for assessing the outcomes of the CSR campaign and social marketing awareness, both on other businesses in Japantown and consumers and community members. Specifically, further studies could determine whether and how businesses might build more consumer trust and social action in disaster preparedness.

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