The surveys of California homeowners show a slow but persistent increase in earthquake insurance subscription and a gradual increase in perceived vulnerability to the earthquake hazard. However, the majority of California homeowners remain uninsured and resistant to purchasing catastrophic earthquake insurance as currently marketed. Between the first survey in 1989 and the last in early 1993, one major earthquake and several moderate earthquakes occurred in California. A comprehensive survey in 1973-1974 of California insurance subscription had noted that only 5 percent of homeowners carried earthquake insurance. The majority of the survey respondents assert that they have adopted some form of non-insurance mitigation measure. The extent to which hazard preparation is seen as an individual as opposed to a societal responsibility may also be a product of cultural context and may have important implications for changes in hazards mitigation policy. Future research must explicitly take into account the impacts of cultural values and assumptions on both perceived vulnerability and preparedness.