Stein, R.M., L. Dueñas-Osorio, D. Subramanian, 2010: Who evacuates when hurricanes approach? The role of risk, information, and location. Social Science Quarterly, 91(3), pp 816-834.

This article discusses the factors that determine whether or not someone evacuates when a hurricane approaches. The article is separated into several sections: The first section dives into the literature on evacuation decision making, specifically what factors influence evacuation. The next section incorporates risk perception and knowledge (weather information) into how people behave during severe weather. The following section describes the research design and methodology, which included conducting surveys post Hurricane Rita within and around Houston in 2005. Lastly, the authors discuss the findings and make several policy implications. The authors found that risk perceptions of wind, influences of media and neighbors on individuals, and familiarity with evacuation zones affected his/her evacuation behavior during hurricanes. The authors also found that location played a large role in how individuals perceived their risk; perceived risk seemed to be similar for individuals who lived in the same geographic area. Thus, physical location was found to greatly influence who evacuates, as perceptions are not spatially uniform. The authors, like many others, stress that messages about severe weather needs to stem from the community, not “blanket statements” (p. 816) from officials or the media.