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How fringe cyclone experience affects predictions of damage severity

Mitchell Scovell (College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Connar McShane (College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Anne Swinbourne (College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Daniel Smith (Cyclone Testing Station, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 19 May 2020

Issue publication date: 12 March 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand how experience with the fringe effects of a cyclone influences perception of cyclone severity. Understanding how certain types of experience influences risk perception should help to clarify why there is an unclear link between experience and risk perception within the existing literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 155 respondents with fringe cyclone experience were recruited to fill in a closed-ended question survey. The survey was designed to assess perceptions of a previous cyclone and future cyclone severity.

Findings

Most respondents who had experienced the fringe effects of a cyclone overestimated the wind speed in their location. Respondents who overestimated previous cyclone wind speed also predicted less damage from future Category 5 cyclones.

Research limitations/implications

This research indicates that overestimating the severity of past cyclones can have a detrimental effect on how people predict damage due to high category cyclones.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that people with fringe cyclone experience need additional information to help reshape their perceptions of cyclone severity.

Originality/value

This paper provides a unique perspective on the relationship between experience and risk perception by demonstrating that experience on the fringe of a cyclone has a negative influence on risk perception.

Keywords

Citation

Scovell, M., McShane, C., Swinbourne, A. and Smith, D. (2021), "How fringe cyclone experience affects predictions of damage severity", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 240-254. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-07-2019-0228

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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