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.
-  Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, “Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009,” https://www.iucn.org/downloads/bangladesh_climate_change_strategy_and_action_plan_2009.pdf [accessed May 9, 2017]
-  C. Bern, J. Sniezek, G. M. Mathbor, M. S. Siddiqi, C. Ronsmans, A. M. Chowdhury, A. E. Chowdhury, K. Islam, M. Bennish, and E. Noji, “Risk factors for mortality in the Bangladesh cyclone of 1991,” Bull World Health Organ, Vol.71, No.1, pp. 73-78, 2008.
-  Climate Change Cell, “Climate Change and Bangladesh published with support from Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and its development partners, UNDP and DFID,” 2009.
-  A. Anwar, “Climate change impacts and adaptation assessment in Bangladesh,” Climate Research, Vol.12, pp. 109-116, 1999.
-  EM-DAT, “Top 10 natural disasters in Bangladesh from 1900–2014,” The Int. Disaster Database, Centre for Research on the Epidomology of Disasters (CRED), http://www.emdat.be/result-country-profile [accessed February 25, 2017]
-  Maplecroft, “World’s fastest growing populations increasingly vulnerable to the Impacts of climate change – 4th global atlas reports,” 2011, http://maplecroft.com/about/news/ccvi_2012.html [accessed April 4, 2017]
-  Bangladesh Meteorological Department, “Historical cyclones,” 2016, http://www.bmd.gov.bd/weather_forecast.php [accessed July 16, 2018]
-  Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), “Cyclone Prediction and Forecasting, Weather Warning System and Dissemination Methods: The Bangladesh Perspective,” http://www.adrc.asia/publications/TDRM2005/TDRM_Good_Practices/PDF/PDF-2005e/Chapter3_3.3.2-1.pdf [accessed April 7, 2016]
-  Needs Assessment Working Group, “HCTT Rapid Impact Assessment: Cyclone Komen in South Bangladesh,” https://www.sheltercluster.org/sites/default/files/docs/150821_komen_impact_assessment_report-final_2.pdf [accessed July 19, 2017]
-  M. Nadiruzzaman and B. K. Paul, “Post-Sidr public housing assistance in Bangladesh: A case study,” Environmental Hazards, Vol.12, No.2, pp. 166-179, doi: 10.1080/17477891.2012.759523, 2013.
-  S. Harmeling, “Global climate risk index 2010: Who is the most vulnerable? Weather-related loss events 1990 and how Copenhagen needs to respond,” Germanwatch, 2009.
-  B. K. Paul and S. Dutt, “Hazard warnings and responses to evacuation orders: The case of Bangladesh’s cyclone Sidr,” Geographical Review, Vol.100, No.3, pp. 336-355, doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2010.00040.x, 2010.
-  S. K. Paul and J. K. Routray, “An Analysis of the Causes of Non-Responses to Cyclone Warnings and the Use of Indigenous Knowledge for Cyclone Forecasting in Bangladesh,” W. L. Filho (Ed.), “Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management,” pp. 15-39, Springer, 2013.
-  E. L. Quarantelli, “Disaster Studies: The consequences of the historical use of a sociological approach in the development of research,” Int. J. of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Vol.12, No.1, pp. 25-49, 1994.
-  N. Dash and B. H. Morrow, “Return delays and evacuation order compliance: The case of Hurricane Georges and the Florida Keys,” Global Environmental Change Part B: Environmental Hazards, Vol.2, No.3, pp. 119-128, doi: 10.1016/S1464-2867(01)00008-0, 2000.
-  Z. Yang, K. Inagaki, H. Yagi, S. Yoshida, and S. Sadohara, “Emergency evacuation and shelter-seeking behavior of foreign residents in Kumamoto earthquake,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.12, No.sp, pp. 678-687, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2017.p0678, 2017.
-  United Nations Development Program (UNDP), “Cyclone Aila: Joint UN multi-sector assessment and response framework,” http://www.scribd.com/doc/79662690/Aila-UN-Assessment-Framework-FINAL [accessed June 22, 2016]
-  World Bank, “Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project,” http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P111272/emergency-2007 [accessed April 20, 2017]
-  Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, “Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) at a glance,” 2007.
-  M. Huq, M. F. Khan, K. Pandey, M. M. Z. Ahmed, Z. H. Khan, S. Dasgupta, and N. Mukherjee, “Vulnerability of Bangladesh to Cyclones in a Changing Climate: Potential Damages and Adaptation Cost,” Policy Research Working Paper 5280, World Bank, 2010.
-  B. K. Paul, “Why relatively fewer people died? The case of Bangladesh’s Cyclone Sidr,” Natural Hazards, Vol.50, No.2, pp. 289-304, 2009.
-  A. M. R. Chowdhury, A. U. Bhuyia, A. Y. Choudhury, and R. Sen, “The Bangladesh cyclone of 1991: why so many people died,” Disasters, Vol.17, No.4, pp. 291-304, 1993.
-  T. Bisson, “An Assessment of Cyclone Mitigation and Management Policies of Bangladesh: A Focus on Early Warning Systems,” Master’s degree thesis, University of Manitoba, 2012.
-  M. K. Lindell and R. W. Perry, “Behavioral foundations of community emergency planning,” Hemisphere Publishing Co., 1992.
-  C. E. Haque and D. Blair, “Vulnerability to tropical cyclones: evidence from the April 1991 cyclone in coastal Bangladesh,” Disasters, Vol.16, No.3, pp. 217-229, 1992.
-  C. E. Haque, “Atmospheric hazards preparedness in Bangladesh: A study of warning, adjustments and recovery from the April 1991 Cyclone,” Nat. Haz., Vol.16, No.2-3, pp. 181-202, 1997.
-  B. K. Paul, H. Rashid, M. S. Islam, and L. M. Hunt, “Cyclone evacuation in Bangladesh: Tropical cyclones Gorky (1991) vs. Sidr (2007),” Environmental Hazards, Vol.9, No.1, pp. 89-101, doi: 10.3763/ehaz.2010.SI04, 2010.
-  Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, “Cyclone Emergency Preparedness Plan, Bangladesh (in Bengali),” http://old.ddm.gov.bd/pdf/Small%20size%20Emergency%20Preparedness%20Plan_Cyclone_DDM_%20March.pdf [accessed July 16, 2016]
-  J. H. Sorensen and B. V. Sorensen, “Community Processes: Warning and Evacuation,” H. Rodriguez, E. L. Quarantelli, and R. R. Dynes (Eds.), “Handbook of Disaster Research,” pp. 183-199, Springer, 2007.
-  C. Roy, S. K. Sarkar, J. Åberg, and R. Kovordanyi, “The current cyclone early warning system in Bangladesh: Providers and receivers’ views,” Int. J. of Disaster Risk Reduct., Vol.12, pp. 285-299, doi: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.02.004, 2015.
-  K. Ikeda, “Gender Differences in Human Loss and Vulnerability in Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Bangladesh,” Indian J. of Gender Studies, Vol.2, No.2, pp. 171-193, doi: 10.1177/097152159500200202, 1995.
-  N. Ahsan, K. Takeuchi, K. Vink, and M. Ohara, “A systematic review of the factors affecting the cyclone evacuation decision process in Bangladesh,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.11, No.4, pp. 742-753, doi: 10.20965/jdr.2016.p0742, 2016.
-  R. Ramesh, “Bangladesh cyclone death toll passes 3000,” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/nov/19/naturaldisasters.bangladesh, 2007 [accessed October 7, 2018]
-  A. S. Dhar and M. A. Ansary, “Community-based evaluation for the development of a sustainable disaster early warning system,” J. of Emergency Management, Vol.10, No.4, pp. 293-302, doi: 10.5055/jem.2012.0107, 2012.
-  G. A. Parvin, F. Takahashi, and R. Shaw, “Coastal hazards and community-coping methods in Bangladesh,” J. of coastal Conservation, Vol.12, No.4, pp. 181-193, 2008.
-  E. Alam and A. E. Collins, “Cyclone disaster vulnerability and response experiences in coastal Bangladesh,” Vol.34, No.4, pp. 931-954, Disasters, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2010.01176.x, 2010.
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationa License.