© 2019, The Author(s). As water supply in England increasingly faces threats of climate change, urbanisation and population growth, there is an imperative for household water users to be more resilient to extremes such as drought. However, since English water users have not traditionally been involved in drought management, there is need for in-depth understanding of perceptions and intentions towards drought management at a household scale to inform policy approaches. This paper fills this gap by investigating the perceptions and intentions of South West England households towards drought and drought coping. A theoretical framework developed through the lens of protection motivation theory and applying the trans-theoretical model, formed the basis of analysis of a survey administered in two communities in Exeter, England. Results indicated that despite low perceived likelihood and consequences of drought in their local area, participants were willing to implement household drought coping measures. Cluster analyses using a k-means clustering algorithm, found that participants were generally segmented in two typologies at different decision-stages. These decision-stages were defined by the variables perceived drought consequence, coping response efficacy, and behavioural intentions. Decision-stages were identified as contemplative and responsive decision-stages, illustrating willingness and participation in drought coping response at the household level. The importance of applying these psychological paradigms holds value for application in water company market research and policy decision-making in the context of targeted intervention strategies aimed at engendering drought resilient households.