S153 Future Flood Risk Perceptions Following Hurricane Matthew: A Study of Eastern North Carolinians

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Samantha Connolly, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Floods are one of the most dangerous weather-related natural disasters in the world. A flood event can develop quickly, and cause catastrophic damage to life and property. The manner in which messages are conveyed from officials to the public has been shown to be a key factor in their perceptions of risk during a flood event. This study examines factors affecting flood risk perceptions in Eastern North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew. Prior research has shown that perception of risk, prior experience with flooding, communication from officials and resultant actions are related. However, research on these relationships has not been widely studied in rural flood-prone areas like Eastern North Carolina. This study utilizes a face-to-face survey of approximately 150 participants in three Eastern North Carolina counties to understand factors that influenced respondents’ perceptions and actions prior to and during Hurricane Matthew. It is anticipated that the results of this project will determine if flood risks are being perceived in a way that will elicit adequate preparation for future floods. These results will also shed light on how flood information is being communicated to Eastern North Carolina residents, and if improvements in communication need to be made to lessen the loss of life and property for future floods.
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