July 1, 1998 Special Presentation
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Slides: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
About Coauthor Kirstin Dow
About Coauthor Susan Cutter
Hazards Center Quick Response Report #101
EIIP Virtual Library Online Presentation
Crying Wolf: Repeat Response to Hurricane Evacuation Warnings
Very similar evacuations in 1996 prompted by predictions regarding hurricanes Bertha and Fran resulted in evacuations of the South Carolina coast. Both hurricanes made landfall in North Carolina. While the evacuations were warranted, the impact of false alarms on future evacuations, often referred to as the "crying wolf syndrome" (Breznitz 1984), is a widespread source of speculation and concern in the emergency management community. Repeated false alarms may reduce the credibility of warning information. Very little research has directly studied them and their impact on evacuation behavior.
Using South Carolina as the study area, Dr. Dow and Dr. Cutter examined the impact of "crying wolf" with three questions:
Dr. Dow's findings from responses to these questions also raise more general issues about the role of local disaster culture and the perceived relationships among residents, government officials at various levels, and information sources such as the Weather Channel.
DR. KIRSTIN DOW
Kirstin Dow is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of geography at Clark University in 1996. Her research interests center on issues of vulnerability to environmental hazards. She has published articles and chapters on vulnerability to environmental changes and coastal storms, hazard perception, and coastal pollution. Currently she is involved in research projects on urban ecosystems and hazards and vulnerability in urban areas.
Dr. Kirstin Dow
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DR. SUSAN CUTTER
Dr. Susan Cutter is professor of Geography and chair of the Department at the University of South Carolina. She also serves as the founding director of the Department 's Hazard Research Lab, a research and training center that integrates geographical information processing techniques with hazards management. Dr. Cutter has been working in the hazards field for more than twenty years and is a nationally recognized scholar in this area. She has authored seven books and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles. Her most recent books include: Living with Risk; Environmental Risks and Hazards, and a widely used textbook on the conservation of natural resources now in its 3rd edition. She is currently working on a book for the Joseph Henry/National Academy of Sciences press called American Hazardscapes which chronicles the pattern and frequency of disaster events and losses in the United States during the last twenty years.
Dr. Cutter serves on many national advisory committees including the Advisory Committee for the Natural Hazards Center in boulder, Colorado. She has provided expert advise to numerous governmental agencies in the hazards and environmental fields including NASA, FEMA and NSF. Prior to moving to South Carolina in 1993, Dr. Cutter spent 16 years on the faculty at Rutgers University.
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