Warning systems as social processes for Bangladesh cyclones

Ilan Kelman (Institute for Global Health and Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, University College London, London, UK) (University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway)
Bayes Ahmed (Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction and Humanitarian Institute, University College London, London, UK)
Md Esraz-Ul-Zannat (Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP), Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)
Md Mustafa Saroar (Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP), Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)
Maureen Fordham (Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, University College London, London UK) (Gender and Disaster Network, University College London, London, UK)
Mohammad Shamsudduha (Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction, University College London, London UK)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 6 August 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to connect the theoretical idea of warning systems as social processes with empirical data of people’s perceptions of and actions for warning for cyclones in Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach is used in two villages of Khulna district in southwest Bangladesh: Kalabogi and Kamarkhola. In total, 60 households in each village were surveyed with structured questionnaires regarding how they receive their cyclone warning information as well as their experiences of warnings for Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Cyclone Aila in 2009.

Findings

People in the two villages had a high rate of receiving cyclone warnings and accepted them as being credible. They also experienced high impacts from the cyclones. Yet evacuation rates to cyclone shelters were low. They did not believe that significant cyclone damage would affect them and they also highlighted the difficulty of getting to cyclone shelters due to poor roads, leading them to prefer other evacuation options which were implemented if needed.

Originality/value

Theoretical constructs of warning systems, such as the First Mile and late warning, are rarely examined empirically according to people’s perceptions of warnings. The case study villages have not before been researched with respect to warning systems. The findings provide empirical evidence for long-established principles of warning systems as social processes, usually involving but not relying on technical components.

Keywords

Citation

Kelman, I., Ahmed, B., Esraz-Ul-Zannat, M., Saroar, M., Fordham, M. and Shamsudduha, M. (2018), "Warning systems as social processes for Bangladesh cyclones", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 370-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-12-2017-0318

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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