Based on a literature review, this paper proposes and empirically tests an extended version of the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) of individual disaster preparedness. A survey was completed by 885 households in three flood-prone regions in France. Regression models provide insights into the factors of influence on the implementation of three categories of flood risk mitigation measures and households' intentions to implement (additional) measures. Although the results differ per category, the overall findings show that threat appraisals have a small effect on mitigation behaviour, while coping appraisals have a more important influence. Several variables that have been added to the PMT framework appear to be influential in households' preparedness decisions, such as: flood experience; local flood risk management policies and incentives; and the social network. Based on these results, two policy recommendations are made for increasing individual flood preparedness: improving communication campaigns on flood damage mitigation measures, and providing additional financial incentives. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.