In harm's way: Investigating an individual's hazard information seeking habits and determining its influence on future intentions to prepare for cyclones in coastal Far North Queensland communities. (14443)
Contemporary emergency management advocates the use of hazard preparatory information (HPI) to educate individuals located in areas exposed to the effects of natural hazards. As such, state and local authorities produce booklets, pamphlets, radio and television campaigns, and Internet and social networking sites, encouraging people to stay well informed and well prepared. The provision of this information has been identified as an influencing factor increasing resilience of communities, encouraging careful preparation of property and households, and speeding up the recovery process.
Currently however, research has focused on the written message, largely ignoring the HPI seeking habits of those most at risk. This study used a self-administered questionnaire to examine the HPI seeking habits of residents in two coastal areas in Far North Queensland (FNQ) with differing cyclone and storm surge history. The study was carried out in Cardwell, a FNQ township greatly affected by Cyclone Yasi in 2011, and the neighbouring seaside suburbs of Machans Beach and Holloways Beach, located north of Cairns, FNQ, which has been unaffected by cyclones or storm surges for a significant period of time, despite their vulnerable location.
The results showed that resident-owners, with more than five years occupancy, in areas that have been affected by cyclones and storm surges, were the most likely to want HPI, however, most were not prepared to seek it out per se. Instead, they preferred the information to be transmitted directly to them via media such as television and radio. In contrast residents and some business owners located in areas with no previous cyclone impact experience were unlikely to seek or use HPI, stating insurance coverage would mitigate against any losses.
These findings have implications for emergency management, particularly considering future predictions in relation to cyclone behaviour.