2017 Vol. 8, No. 1

Display Method:
Households' Risk Perception and Behavioral Responses to Natech Accidents
Junlei Yu, Ana Maria Cruz, Akihiko Hokugo
2017, 8(1): 1-15. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0116-y
This study analyzes data on households' risk perception and protective behavior following a natural disaster triggered technological accident (Natech accident) that occurred at an industrial park in Sendai during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, on 11 March 2011. The results indicate that some households carried out multiple evacuations and that households' risk perceptions changed throughout the Natech accident evacuation process. Risk perception differed according to household location and demographic characteristics. We also found differences in the protective measures adopted for households in different locations. Specifically, those living closer to the Natech accident tended to evacuate immediately, whereas those living further away tended to shelter in place. Wind direction is discussed as a factor that influences households' risk perception and evacuation response to a Natech accident. The findings of this study advance knowledge of household behavior in response to a Natech accident and can assist emergency managers in developing strategies for better management of evacuation processes.
Influences of Sense of Place on Farming Households' Relocation Willingness in Areas Threatened by Geological Disasters: Evidence from China
Dingde Xu, Li Peng, Shaoquan Liu, Chunjiang Su, Xuxi Wang, Tiantian Chen
2017, 8(1): 16-32. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0112-2
Scholars from environmental psychology, geography, disaster science, and sociology have recently focused attention on evacuation and relocation behaviors and influencing factors in hazard-threatened areas. However, existing studies are mainly focused on developed countries and the influence of individual characteristics, household characteristics, and the perception of risk of urban households on evacuation and relocation behaviors. Few studies examine developing countries and the influence of farmers' sense of place in geological hazardthreatened areas. Using statistics of farming households in an area threatened by landslides, this is a pilot study to explore the relationship of sense of place to the relocation willingness of farming households while controlling for other variables. The results show that:(1) Households with higher scores of place identity and place dependence are less willing to relocate, whereas place attachment has no significant relationship to household relocation willingness; (2) Risk perception dimensions, including probability, threat, and controllability have a significant relationship to household relocation willingness, while worry and fear of the unknown have no significant relationship; (3) Household characteristics, including income, whether a household has experienced economic loss from landslides, and social support are significantly correlated with household relocation willingness, while gender, age, experience, distance to hazard sites, size of household, children, older people, and housing material are not. The results for information and education are not robust. This study contributes to the current literature by improving the understanding of the relationship of sense of place to the relocation willingness of farming households in villages threatened by geological disasters in rural China.
How “Sustainable” are Post-disaster Measures? Lessons to Be Learned a Decade After the 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean
Christiane Stephan, Celia Norf, Alexander Fekete
2017, 8(1): 33-45. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0113-1
This article addresses the sustainability implications of post-disaster measures in the context of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami by presenting an analysis of the current situations and changes in some of the affected regions. Sustainability implications of measures are captured by investigating the persistence of the social and economic living conditions in relation to post-disaster measures, and the alignment of the measures with basic environmental aspects. Based on major concepts relevant in disaster science and sustainability research, the study explored sustainability aspects of post-disaster measures implemented after the 2004 tsunami, by conducting selected interviews among the participants of the 2015 international seminar "11 Years after the Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004" and a broader online survey. Information was sought about (1) the current state of vulnerability of the local population in the regions affected; (2) the main lessons that have been identified to improve project design and management of recovery and vulnerability reduction; and (3) project sustainability implications with respect to the state of today's vulnerability. Based on the analysis of the information on these three priority areas, selected tasks for future disaster risk management are identified, such as more integrative planning and improved coordination with international organizations and local people.
Can Strategies to Cope with Hazard Shocks be Explained by At-Risk Households' Socioeconomic Asset Profile? Evidence from Tropical Cyclone-Prone Coastal Bangladesh
Md. Nasif Ahsan
2017, 8(1): 46-63. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0119-8
This article documents the results of an empirical investigation on the complex interplay between diverse coping mechanisms and the socioeconomic asset profiles of coastal households at risk. Focusing on household-level perceptions and responses to cyclone hazards, a case study was carried out in a poor area in Bangladesh that is prone to natural hazards. We developed and tested our own analytical models based on the asset approach. We conducted a face-to-face household survey in southwestern coastal Bangladesh, in the Koyra sub-district, in late 2009. We asked 360 households affected by the May 2009 tropical Cyclone Aila about their hazard perceptions, preparedness, coping practices, and socioeconomic assets. The results suggest that the majority of households at risk perceive an increasing trend of different climate hazards, with a distinct dominance of tropical cyclones, storm surges, and flash floods in the study area, which resulted in a yearly average economic damage of USD 144 for each household in the first year after Aila. However, such damage is significantly and inversely correlated with the number of adopted coping practices. Significant and systematic differences exist between upstream and downstream households in the study area with respect to hazard perception, hazard induced damages, asset accessibility, and adopted diversified coping practices. The empirical findings suggest that the degree of adoption of coping practices depends primarily on elements of socioeconomic asset profile and the duration of the consequences of cyclone hazards. Disaster preparedness training seems to improve at-risk households' degree of information access and eventually leads them to adopt more coping practices to reduce adverse impacts of climate hazards. Area-specific practical modules on coping practices should be incorporated in curricula of disaster preparedness training to make people at risk more resilient to hazard shocks.
Analyzing the Effectiveness of Policy Implementation at the Local Level: A Case Study of Management of the 2009-2010 Drought in Yunnan Province, China
Neera Shrestha Pradhan, Yufang Su, Yao Fu, Liyun Zhang, Yongping Yang
2017, 8(1): 64-77. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0118-9
Several research efforts have focused primarily on policy implementation and improving innovative actions to address disaster risks. Discussions are ongoing on how to measure the effectiveness of policy implementation at the local level. But there is no definitive theory of effective policy implementation, and very few frameworks have been found acceptable as the basis of an analysis of the effectiveness of policy implementation, especially on droughts. Based on the 2009-2010 extreme drought in Yunnan, China, this article presents a modified framework to assess the effectiveness of policy implementation by defining policy, practice, and performance, as well as a feedback loop by which to share the lessons learned. Water conservancy projects in Luliang County and the agricultural diversity program in Longyang County in Yunnan Province were analyzed from a farmers' perspective. It was found that farmers are highly dependent on government policies and projects, and the effectiveness of policies is measured by short-term, immediate, and tangible benefits rather than long-term adaptation strategies. The results highlight the urgent need to reduce risks by developing better awareness about climate change and drought and its impacts, increased understanding of drought hazards, and implementation of appropriate measures for long-term adaptation.
Performance of Temperature-Related Weather Index for Agricultural Insurance of Three Main Crops in China
Jing Zhang, Zhao Zhang, Fulu Tao
2017, 8(1): 78-90. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0115-z
In this study, two categories of weather index-absolute index and relative index-for chilling injury and heat damage of three main crops in China were assessed to identify insurable counties. First, correlations between selected weather indices and yield losses were examined for each county. If a correlation was significant, the county was categorized as "insurable" for the corresponding hazard or index. Second, the spatial distribution of insurable counties was characterized and finally, their correlation coefficients were analyzed at various spatial scales. The results show that the spatial patterns of insurable areas varied by categories of weather indices, crops, and hazards. Moreover, the weather indices based on relative threshold of temperature were more suitable for chilling injury in most regions, whereas the indices based on absolute threshold were more suitable for heat damage. The findings could help the Chinese government and insurance companies to design effective insurance products.
Towards a Local-Level Resilience Composite Index: Introducing Different Degrees of Indicator Quantification
Sebastian Jülich
2017, 8(1): 91-99. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0114-0
Within disaster resilience research there is a trend of developing quantitative metrics for resilience analysis. Quantitative indicators can be useful for decision makers in the field of resilience building to prioritize preventive actions to target the least resilient. This study explores possibilities and constraints in quantifying disaster resilience at the local level. While national or regionallevel indicators mostly employ existing secondary source data, at the local level it is necessary to collect new data in most cases. The main aim of this study is to investigate how resilience indicators with different stages of operationalization can be developed at the local level. Using the example of the Swiss canton of Grisons, three local-level partial indicators for community resilience against natural hazard are developed. In this process qualitative research is the necessary basis to construct quantitative indicators. For each partial indicator different stages of quantification are offered to illustrate how quantitatively operationalized indicators can be developed and to examine their strengths and weaknesses. For this purpose a classification of different indicator operationalization stages is proposed, ranging from vague qualitative criteria to fully quantified criteria.
Science and Technology Networks: A Helping Hand to Boost Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030?
Robert Šakić Trogrlić, Lydia Cumiskey, Annisa Triyanti, Melanie J. Duncan, Nuha Eltinay, Rick J. Hogeboom, Mansi Jasuja, Chinaporn Meechaiya, Christina J. Pickering, Virginia Murray
2017, 8(1): 100-105. doi: 10.1007/s13753-017-0117-x
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 underlines the importance of Science and Technology (S&T) and S&T networks for effective disaster risk reduction (DRR). The knowledge of existing S&T networks and their exact role in DRR, however, is limited. This opinion piece initiates a discussion on the role of S&T networks in the implementation of the Sendai Framework. The article highlights that current practice is oriented towards a narrative that emphasizes the potential of S&T for DRR and stresses a collaborative approach delivered through networks. But a true understanding of whether and how S&T networks can mobilize and enable S&T for DRR is missing. We call for a review of existing S&T networks for DRR and the development of good practice guidelines on S&T networks for DRR. This review should include knowledge on how to overcome common challenges and maximize the benefits, along with a framework for successful evaluation of such networks. This knowledge would provide much needed guidance for existing and emerging networks.