- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management - ISCRAM 2020
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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The decisions of whether and how to evacuate during a climate disaster are influenced by a wide range of factors, including emergency messaging, social influences, and sociodemographics. Further complexity is introduced when multiple hazards occur simultaneously, such as a flood evacuation taking place amid a viral pandemic that requires physical distancing. Such multihazard events can necessitate a nuanced navigation of competing decision-making strategies wherein a desire to follow peers is weighed against contagion risks. To better understand these trade-offs, we distributed an online survey during a COVID-19 pandemic surge in July 2020 to 600 individuals in three midwestern and three southern states in the United States with high risk of flooding. In this paper, we estimate a random parameter discrete choice model in both preference space and willingness-to-pay space. The results of our model show that the directionality and magnitude of the influence of peers’ choices of whether and how to evacuate vary widely across respondents. Overall, the decision of whether to evacuate is positively impacted by peer behavior, while the decision of how to evacuate (i.e., ride-type selection) is negatively impacted by peer influence. Furthermore, an increase in flood threat level lessens the magnitude of peer impacts. In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts, respondents who perceive it to be a major health risk are more reluctant to evacuate, but this effect is mitigated by increased flood threat level. These findings have important implications for the design of tailored emergency messaging strategies and the role of shared rides in multihazard evacuations. Specifically, emphasizing or deemphasizing the severity of each threat in a multihazard scenario may assist in: (1) encouraging a reprioritization of competing risk perceptions; and (2) magnifying or neutralizing the impacts of social influence, thereby (3) nudging evacuation decision-making toward a desired outcome.more » « less
During peak disease transmission in 2021, the compounding threat posed by the pandemic and hurricane season required coastal states to understand evacuation behaviors during a major hurricane to inform the planning process. While research relating to hurricane evacuation behavior and perceptions of risk has increased since the start of the pandemic, there is minimal understanding of how perceptions have changed now the COVID-19 vaccine is available. A total of 1075 individuals across seven U.S. coastal states participated in a study on evacuation intentions postvaccine availability. Findings revealed that most survey participants (50.9%) preferred to stay home if a major hurricane threatened their area, and only 3.9% would evacuate to a public shelter. Approximately half (56.2%) of individuals viewed the risk of being in a shelter as more dangerous than enduring hurricane hazards. When considering shelter use, nearly half of respondents (49.4%) stated they would evacuate to a shelter before the pandemic; now, only one-third (34.3%) would consider evacuating to a shelter during the pandemic. Statistically significant findings include the relationship between those who lived in evacuation zones A or B (25.5%) and the choice to shelter in place at home (40.5%) or evacuate to a hotel (36.9%). There was a statistically significant relationship between the level of education and choosing to evacuate to a hotel. Additionally, the influence of pet ownership on evacuation decision-making was found to be statistically significant. Officials can use the results of this study to strengthen community preparedness and planning strategies across diverse populations.
Hurricane Irma, in 2017, made an unusual landfall in South Florida and the unpredictability of the hurricane’s path challenged the evacuation process seriously and left many evacuees clueless. It was likely to hit Southeast Florida but suddenly shifted its path to the west coast of the peninsula, where the evacuation process had to change immediately without any time for individual decision-making. As such, this study aimed to develop a methodology to integrate evacuation and storm surge modeling with a case study analysis of Irma hitting Southeast Florida. For this purpose, a coupled storm surge and wave finite element model (ADCIRC+SWAN) was used to determine the inundation zones and roadways with higher inundation risk in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties in Southeast Florida. This was fed into the evacuation modeling to estimate the regional clearance times and shelter availability in the selected counties. Findings show that it takes approximately three days to safely evacuate the populations in the study area. Modeling such integrated simulations before the hurricane hit the state could provide the information people in hurricane-prone areas need to decide to evacuate or not before the mandatory evacuation order is given.more » « less
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