This study seeks to understand how housing safety perceptions have changed after a specific hazard event: the 2019–2020 earthquakes affecting the US Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. The research team conducted and qualitatively analyzed 52 semistructured interviews with households, informal builders, and individuals involved in formal construction on the island to understand risk and safety perceptions related to both hurricanes and earthquakes before and after the 2019–2020 earthquakes. The study found that, after the earthquakes, trust in informal construction processes decreased; trust in formal construction processes and self-efficacy increased; and perceptions of expected earthquake damage and views on the relative safety of building materials changed, including a notable shift to doubt the safety of concrete construction. Because household risk and housing safety perceptions directly affect decisions about safe construction materials and practices, it is critical to both understand these perceptions and investigate how these perceptions may change with the experience of a less frequent or less familiar hazard event.

Goldwyn, B., Javernick-Will, A., & Liel, A. (2021). Dilemma of the tropics: changes to housing safety perceptions, preferences, and priorities in Multihazard environments. Natural Hazards Review, 22(3), 04021012.