Evacuation Behavior: Why Do Some People Never Evacuate to a Cyclone Shelter During an Emergency? A Case Study of Coastal Bangladesh
Swarnali Chakma*, and Akihiko Hokugo**
*Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University
2-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
**Research Center for Urban Safety and Security, Kobe University, Hyogo, Japan
According to the World Risk Report in 2018, Bangladesh has been identified as the most vulnerable country in the world. Among the 64 districts of this country, 19 districts are known as coastal districts 36.8 million people live in high-risk areas. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the reasons and factors why many residents do not comply with evacuation orders to cyclone shelters in an emergency period. Based on survey data collected from the survivors this paper finds that prior to the landfall of cyclone Komen in 2015 the majority of the respondents in Kutubdia Upazila had received cyclone warning either from Cyclone Preparedness Program volunteers or the radio, but only 61% of respondents in this village responded to the warning by seeking protection in the nearby shelter. The major identified reasons for 39% of respondent’s non-compliance with evacuation orders are the long distance of a cyclone shelter from home, an absence of the head of the family, gender-related concerns, not enough space in the shelter, the poor road network and no space for livestock in the shelter. It is also found that people did not start evacuation until observing the symptom of risk. To improve cyclone preparedness and response to evacuation orders from residents, an educational campaign by Government and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) is needed in coastal zones to improve the use of public cyclone shelters. Finally, to reduce risk Government should take the initiative for infrastructural development in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
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