Perceptions of storm surges in north Queensland

Livock, Kristy, and Swinbourne, Anne L. (2021) Perceptions of storm surges in north Queensland. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 36 (4). pp. 75-81.

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Storm surges have the potential to bring widespread damage to the north Australian coastline. The dangers from the wind aspect of cyclones are well understood, however, it is unclear if the same can be said about the potential dangers from accompanying storm surges. This study explored the differences between how cyclones and storm surges are perceived by people who are vulnerable to such events. It is important to consider these aspects given that storm surges have not occurred frequently in the past but may happen more often in the future. The sample consisted of 231 undergraduate students studying psychology subjects at James Cook University in Townsville in north Queensland. Participants were asked to record their experience with cyclones and storm surges, their understanding of official warnings used when these events are imminent and a self-assessment of their ability to plan and prepared for these events. Perceptions of severity, possible negative consequences, likelihood and preparedness for both events were also obtained. The results demonstrated that participants living in this region are not as familiar with the particulars of storms surges as they are with cyclones. This study suggests that further research is needed to understand how experience can both facilitate and impede perception of risk, so that risk communication can be best structured for people who do not perceive themselves as being vulnerable.

Item ID: 72996
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2204-2288
Copyright Information: © 2021 by the authors. License Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, Melbourne, Australia. This is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( 4.0/).
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2022 02:23
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