This article contributes to the current discussion on how residents living in vulnerable areas make the decision to evacuate when they are in harms way. Key in this discussion is the question, what role does information and risk play in shaping evacuation behavior? This study used a sample of respondents from the greater New Orleans region (Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard Parishes) of the Twelve Parish Survey (N=1,207) conducted prior to Hurricane Katrina. The findings indicate that information sources are vitally important in the evacuation process. By examining the role of information from authorities, family, and friends; visual imagery; and the media we found that individuals use a variety of sources when they decide to evacuate. Further, the importance of visual imagery in the evacuation process is discussed. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of information dissemination and its importance to members of the media and public policy makers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science