Understanding Community's Evacuation Intention Development Process in a Flood Prone Micro-hotspot, Mumbai

Subhajyoti Samaddar, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, , Bijay Anand Misra, School of Planning and Architecture, New, Roshni Chatterjee, GCOE-HSE Project , Mumbai Base, Kyoto Un, Hirokazu Tatano, Disaster Prevention Research Institute,


During the 2005 Mumbai flood, it became apparent that the death toll and property damage could have been minimized by planned and organized evacuation. It became evident that it is not the information per se that determines whether people take actions to manage their risks, decision on evacuation reflect how people interpret and collate information to make it meaningful to them. Studies and research in pursuit of this line of knowledge are scanty in the risk management literature. In the context of mega city Mumbai flood risk management, this knowledge is non-existent. The objective of the present study is to investigate the cognitive perceptual process that households experience when faced with the decision to evacuate. The purpose of this study is to analyze integrated flood evacuation behaviour based on field evidence in order to manage the flood evacuation challenge for a Mumbai hot-spot. The present study has developed and empirically examined an integrated cognitive evacuation approach, which includes Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and other cognitive theories. Results have shown that the intention to evacuate and avoid unacceptable loss was most pronounced with individuals when the level of critical awareness about ‘outcome efficacy’ and ‘self-efficacy’ was high. Apparently, no other factors matters as much. The present study revealed it is not always necessary that individuals’ evacuation motive go through all cognitive phases or stages before it turns into genuine intention. This finding, in a way, does not run in line with the conventional cognitive theoretical approaches. Findings of the study further highlighted that emphasis needs to be made on the “how to” aspect of the diagnostic risk mitigation information rather than on the provision of information about possible risks and vulnerability. This study is particularly important in the context of improving public awareness and education programs on evacuation.


Integrated Disaster Risk Management, Mumbai Flood, Evacuation, Cognitive Approach

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