Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Social engagement aids disaster preparedness

09.07.2015

Community participation and strong social networks can aid preparedness to natural disaster such as tsunamis in vulnerable regions, shows new research conducted in the south of Thailand.

People who participate in social activities in their community are more likely to plan and prepare for future disasters, such as tsunamis, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The study was based on household surveys in tsunami-prone areas of Phang Nga, Thailand, a region which was hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and which has been active in setting up tsunami early warning systems and disaster training programs.

“We found that in tsunami-prone areas, people who have participated in community activities are more likely to undertake disaster risk reduction actions,” says IIASA researcher Raya Muttarak, who led the study. “These include not only low-effort actions like following disaster-related news closely but also higher-effort actions like having a family emergency plan or having an intention to migrate.”

Previous IIASA research has shown that education, in particular women’s education, is connected with reduced vulnerability to natural disasters. The new study supports these findings, showing that in communities where more women had at least secondary school education, more people planned for disaster risk reduction. In addition, the researchers found a strong link between social engagement, or participation in social, sports, and religious activities in a community, and taking actions to prepare for a potential natural disaster.

“We don’t know if this is a causative link or whether people have some underlying characteristic that leads to these behaviors,” says Nopphol Witvorapong, an economist at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand and study co-author.. However, he says, the study is one of the first to account for unobserved characteristics and show evidence for a link between social activities and disaster preparedness, and suggests that further research is needed.

“While there is increasing discussion about the role of social engagement in disaster preparedness, until now there has been little evidence-based research on the topic,” says Wiraporn Pothisiri, a demographer at Chulalongkorn University. In order to gather such data, Pothisiri and Muttarak carried out a household survey of over 500 families in Phang Nga immediately after the 2012 Indian Ocean earthquakes using the earthquake events as a test for disaster preparedness in the region.

The researchers then analyzed the data using a statistical model to explore whether there were links between social engagement in the community, and disaster preparedness efforts including following disaster-related news closely, preparing a family emergency plan or a disaster supplies kit, or planning to migrate to a lower risk area.

The researchers say that community activities and social networks cannot replace early warning systems and disaster training, but rather that they can complement and promote diffusion of such efforts.

“Our research suggests that the success of these disaster reduction efforts may depend on social cohesion and networks in a community. Promoting bottom-up disaster reduction strategies will be more sustainable than the top-down ones,” says Witvorapong

Reference
Nopphol Witvorapong, Raya Muttarak, Wiraporn Pothisiri. (2015) Social Participation and Disaster Risk Reduction Behaviors in Tsunami Prone Areas. PLOS ONE. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0130862


For more information contact:
Nopphol Witvorapong
Lecturer
Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University
nopphol.w@chula.ac.th
+66 813 718 789

Raya Muttarak
Research Scholar
IIASA World Population Program
+43(0) 2236 807 329
muttarak@iiasa.ac.at

Katherine Leitzell
IIASA Press Office
Tel: +43 2236 807 316
Mob: +43 676 83 807 316
leitzell@iiasa.ac.at

About IIASA:
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policy makers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. www.iiasa.ac.at 

Katherine Leitzell | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>