Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Hurricane Matthew was a category five hurricane that affected coastal communities in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina and resulted in significant damage to properties and loss of lives. This dissertation investigates households’ evacuation-related decisions during Hurricane Matthew (2016). Specifically, this study examines (a) households’ evacuation-related first decisions, (b) the effects of risk perception and perceived certainty about evacuation logistics on households’ evacuate/stay decisions, and (c) the influence of perceived certainty variables on households’ selection of destination and accommodations type. Data used for this study comes from a post-Hurricane Matthew survey data gathered from households in the Jacksonville Metropolitan Area of Florida. With regard to households’ evacuation-related first decisions, this study explored whether households made the evacuation decision first, accommodation type decision first, or other decisions (e.g., destination and departure timing) first. Further, if households made the evacuation decision first, this study also explored whether the evacuation decision was made on its own or simultaneously with other decisions. The survey data was used to estimate a nested logit model, which was preferred to its corresponding multinomial logit model. The preferred model had twelve statistically significant variables, and some of the variables include perceived certainty about the location of hurricane impact, concern about death/injury, being married, female, concern about utility disruption, and receipt of a voluntary evacuation notice. The second part of this study explored the bi-direction effect between risk perception and perceived certainty regarding households’ evacuate/stay decision making. Using the survey data, structural equation modeling was used for this investigation. The results showed that risk perception was positively associated with perceived certainty about evacuation logistics while perceived certainty about evacuation logistics was negatively associated with risk perception. In addition, both risk perception and perceived certainty about evacuation logistics were positively associated with households’ evacuation decision. While the effect of scientific risk (living in an evacuation zone where an evacuation order was in effect) on risk perception was not statistically significant, females and those who have previous evacuation experience were more likely to have higher risk perceptions. Also, consistency about information received and perceived certainty about location of impact were positively associated with perceived certainty about evacuation logistics. For those who chose to evacuate, the final part of this dissertation investigated the influence of perceived certainty variables on households’ selection of destinations and accommodation types. Multinomial logit models were developed for both decisions using the survey data. Nine variables were statistically significant in the destination type model while six variables were significant for the accommodation model. The variables were related to households’ socio-economic and demographic characteristics, receipt of official evacuation notice, prior evacuation experience, and evacuation impediments.
Adjei, Emmanuel, "Modeling Households’ Evacuation-Related First Decisions, Actual Evacuation Decision, Accommodations, and Destinations during Hurricane Matthew" (2021). All Dissertations. 2888.