Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Geographic and Social Predictors of Flood Risk Awareness

This study seeks to understand which residents were aware of flood risk, using unique representative survey data of Calgary residents living in the city's flood‐prone neighborhoods collected after the devastating and cos tly 2013 Southern Alberta Flood. The article uses logistic regression models to analyze which residents were aware of risk to their homes. Findings indicate that, in addition to various demographic predictors, many of the geographic predictors (including the elevation of one's home relative to the r iver) are significant predictors of awareness. Having a direct sight line to one of Calgary's two rivers is also a significant predictor in some of the models, suggesting that the visibility of hazards matters for flood risk perception, although this effect fades when many of the geographic predicto rs are added. Finally, the models indicate that several variables related to local, neighborhood‐based social networks are significant as well. These findings reveal that both physical surroundings and social context are important for understanding risk awareness. The article concludes by discussi ng the relevance for social science research on disasters and hazards, as well as for planners and emergency managers.
Source: Risk Analysis - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Original Research Article Source Type: research

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