Influence of social networks and opportunities for social support on evacuation destination decision-making

Hyeong Suk Na, Rob Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While evacuation decision-making has been extensively studied over the past decades, few studies examine the basis for these decisions: the locations of family and friends who can provide evacuees with social support at evacuation destinations. To address this gap, we conduct a multivariate regression analysis of social–spatial network data gathered from survey respondents in three U.S. areas to understand the relationship between evacuees’ social networks, opportunities for social support, and planned evacuation destinations. Our findings show that the locations of evacuees’ family and friends influence where they plan to go during an evacuation. Evacuees with closer family and friends plan to travel shorter distances than evacuees whose family and friends live farther away. Furthermore, we observe that unsupported evacuees–citizens traveling to destinations outside their social network–plan to travel twice as far as supported evacuees–citizens traveling to destinations where family and friends can offer instrumental, informational, or emotional assistance. These findings suggest new opportunities to predict and model evacuation logistics decisions based on the geographic distribution of evacuees’ social networks and the opportunities for social support they provide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105564
JournalSafety Science
Volume147
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Emergency management
  • Evacuation behavior
  • Mass evacuation
  • Social network
  • Social support

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