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Spatial and Temporal Variation in Evacuee Risk Perception Throughout the Evacuation and Return‐Entry Process

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Developing effective evacuation and return‐entry plans requires understanding the spatial and temporal dimensions of risk perception experienced by evacuees throughout a disaster event. Using data gathered from the 2008 Cedar Rapids, Iowa Flood, this article explores how risk perception and location influence evacuee behavior during the evacuation and return‐entry process. Three themes are discussed: (1) the spatial and temporal characteristics of risk perception throughout the evacuation and return‐entry process, (2) the relationship between risk perception and household compliance with return‐entry orders, and (3) the role social influences have on the timing of the return by households. The results indicate that geographic location and spatial variation of risk influenced household risk perception and compliance with return‐entry plans. In addition, sociodemographic characteristics influenced the timing and characteristics of the return groups. The findings of this study advance knowledge of evacuee behavior throughout a disaster and can inform strategies used by emergency managers throughout the evacuation and return‐entry process.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Administration, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA. 2: Department of Geography, Center for Natural and Technological Hazards, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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