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Risk Anal. 2015 Oct;35(10):1837-57. doi: 10.1111/risa.12407. Epub 2015 Aug 24.

Factors Affecting Hurricane Evacuation Intentions.

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National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO.
University of Washington, Seattle, WA.


Protective actions for hurricane threats are a function of the environmental and information context; individual and household characteristics, including cultural worldviews, past hurricane experiences, and risk perceptions; and motivations and barriers to actions. Using survey data from the Miami-Dade and Houston-Galveston areas, we regress individuals' stated evacuation intentions on these factors in two information conditions: (1) seeing a forecast that a hurricane will hit one's area, and (2) receiving an evacuation order. In both information conditions having an evacuation plan, wanting to keep one's family safe, and viewing one's home as vulnerable to wind damage predict increased evacuation intentions. Some predictors of evacuation intentions differ between locations; for example, Florida respondents with more egalitarian worldviews are more likely to evacuate under both information conditions, and Florida respondents with more individualist worldviews are less likely to evacuate under an evacuation order, but worldview was not significantly associated with evacuation intention for Texas respondents. Differences by information condition also emerge, including: (1) evacuation intentions decrease with age in the evacuation order condition but increase with age in the saw forecast condition, and (2) evacuation intention in the evacuation order condition increases among those who rely on public sources of information on hurricane threats, whereas in the saw forecast condition evacuation intention increases among those who rely on personal sources. Results reinforce the value of focusing hurricane information efforts on evacuation plans and residential vulnerability and suggest avenues for future research on how hurricane contexts shape decision making.


Hurricane evacuation decisions; risk communication and perception

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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