Understanding Household Mobilization Time During Natech Accident Evacuation
Junlei Yu* and Akihiko Hokugo**
*Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Architecture, Kobe University
**Research Center for Urban Safety and Security, Kobe University
1-1 Rokkodai, Nada, Kobe 657-8501, Japan
Natural disasters can cause major technological accidents (Natech accidents) resulting in fires, explosions or hazardous materials releases. The severe consequence may risk human lives and property. Understanding household evacuation behavior could help emergency managers develop strategies that protect the populace better against Natech risk. Our goal in this study is to capture in household mobilization time from the moment the Natech accident occurs and the moment evacuation occurs. Actual evacuation may or may not occur depending on the judgment of individuals about perceived risk or on evacuation orders by local authorities. Data we collected was from a random household survey following a Natech accident at a Sendai oil refinery during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Results show that respondents evacuated faster after receiving a Natech evacuation order than based on their own judgments. Risk perception and respondents’ demographic characteristics played roles in when evacuation mobilization began. The findings advanced our knowledge of household evacuation timing behavior in response to a Natech accident and could assist emergency managers in developing better strategies for managing the evacuation process.
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