Individual relocation decisions after tornadoes: a multi-level analysis

Zhen Cong, Ali Nejat, Daan Liang, Yaolin Pei, Roxana J. Javid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study examines how multi-level factors affected individuals' relocation decisions after EF4 and EF5 (Enhanced Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale) tornadoes struck the United States in 2013. A telephone survey was conducted with 536 respondents, including oversampled older adults, one year after these two disaster events. Respondents' addresses were used to associate individual information with block group-level variables recorded by the American Community Survey. Logistic regression revealed that residential damage and homeownership are important predictors of relocation. There was also significant interaction between these two variables, indicating less difference between homeowners and renters at higher damage levels. Homeownership diminished the likelihood of relocation among younger respondents. Random effects logistic regression found that the percentage of homeownership and of higher income households in the community buffered the effect of damage on relocation; the percentage of older adults reduced the likelihood of this group relocating. The findings are assessed from the standpoint of age difference, policy implications, and social capital and vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • disaster preparedness
  • relocation
  • resilience
  • tornado
  • vulnerability


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