Determinants of Flash Flood Evacuation Choices and Assessment of Preferences for Flash Flood Warning Channels: The Case of Thailand
AbstractThe Southern part of Thailand, a region with tropical climate and monsoon, has often been affected by torrential rains caused by tropical storms, depressions, and typhoons. Such heavy rain is often accompanied by flash floods – sometimes occuring so suddenly and with an enormous amount of water – that make them particularly dangerous. Hence, flash flood warnings are important to prevent flash flood hazards from becoming disasters.These warnings can give individuals the much needed information that can help them decide whether to evacuate or not, thus reducing casualties and losses. This research examined the factors that affected the individuals’ and households’ decisions to evacuate in case of a flash flood. Results showed that individuals with higher probability of evacuation prior or during a flash flood had received flash flood warning; had information about the meeting places in the villages; had higher income; and were female.At the household level, the probability of both male and female members agreeing not to evacuate decreased with the proportion of young children in the household and if the head of the household was female. Also at the household level, the probability of both male and female members agreeing to evacuate increased with the proportion of young children in the household. These findings give rise to some policy implications. First, because people at risk from flash floods are concerned about their evacuation destination, the government should provide emergency public shelters before, during, and after a flash flood. As women and families with young children are more likely to evacuate, the emergency shelters should cater to their needs. To assist vulnerable groups such as females, young children, the elderly, and disabled, authorized personnel should be stationed along main evacuation routes during evacuations to direct the residents away from the emergency areas. Residents in the flash flood hazard areas in Nakhon Si Thammarat preferred two-way radio, but very of them have access to this channel or type of warning channel. The government could step in to ensure that these areas have access to two-way radio sets as well as conventional warning receivers, such as mobile phone, television, and radio.
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Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision: Mar 2013
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