Natural Hazards

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 865–882 | Cite as

Evacuees’ information sources and reentry decision making in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike

  • Chih-Chun Lin
  • Laura K. Siebeneck
  • Michael K. Lindell
  • Carla S. Prater
  • Hao-Che Wu
  • Shih-Kai Huang
Original Paper


In the aftermath of a hurricane, local emergency managers need to communicate reentry plans to households that might be scattered over multiple counties or states. To better understand evacuees’ households’ reliance on different information sources at the time they decided to return home, this study collected data on reentry after Hurricane Ike. The results from a survey of 340 evacuating households indicated that there was low compliance with official reentry plans and that none of the information sources produced greater compliance with official reentry plans. Nonetheless, there were significant changes in the utilization of different sources of emergency information over the course of an evacuation but local news media remained the most common sources throughout the event. There also were significant differences in the relative importance of different sources of reentry information, with people relying most on information from peers. In summary, local authorities need to identify more effective ways to communicate with evacuees that have relocated to distant communities and to motivate them to comply with official reentry plans.


Evacuation reentry Hurricane Ike Risk areas Information sources 



This study was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant SES-0838654 and IMEE-113861. The opinions, finding, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chih-Chun Lin
    • 1
  • Laura K. Siebeneck
    • 2
  • Michael K. Lindell
    • 1
  • Carla S. Prater
    • 1
  • Hao-Che Wu
    • 1
  • Shih-Kai Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Hazard Reduction and Recovery CenterTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public AdministrationUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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