Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Exploring the heterogeneity in the cyclone evacuation decision in the context of developing economy: A case study of costal Bangladesh

Tanmay Das, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering, Md. Hadiuzzaman, PhD, Annesha Enam, PhD, Md. Mizanur Rahman, PhD


The critical role of evacuation, particularly for the communities in developing countries exposed to cyclones, has only been realized after some disastrous evacuation experiences in recent cyclones. A profound understanding of the factors influencing the evacuation behavior is necessary to reduce the loss of lives, especially in the cyclone prone communities. The purpose of this research is to identify the key factors influencing households’ evacuation decision during a cyclone in developing economies. To this end, the research employs state of the art discrete choice modeling techniques referred to as mixed logit models. The study builds on the data collected in 1991 from the coastal areas of Bangladesh following the cyclone Sidr. The analysis result reveals that the evacuees of developing countries like Bangladesh resort to nearby tall buildings during cyclone due to the insufficient facilities provided by the cyclone centers. In case of mandatory evacuation and for temporary house owner, the households’ decision to evacuate is found to be uniform. However, significant heterogeneity is found in the households’ decision to evacuate whenever they receive a voluntary notice and also if they live sufficiently far from the sea shore. The factors that are identified to be influencing households’ evacuation decision during a cyclone will enable potential evacuees to better evaluate their decision and consequently make more informed decision about the timing as well as the necessity of evacuation. The analysis result will also help emergency managers to decide on the timing and the type of evacuation orders they need to provide for reducing causalities due to landfall caused by cyclones.


cyclone evacuation, mixed logit model, fixed parameter modeling, random parameter modeling, Sidr

Full Text:



Paul BK, Dutt S: Hazard warnings and responses to evacuation orders: The case of Bangladesh’s cyclone Sidr. Geogr Rev. 2010; 100(3): 336-355.

Flierl G, Robinson A: Deadly surges in the Bay of Bengal: Dynamics and storm-tide tables. Nature. 1972; 239(5369): 213-215.

GoB: Emergency preparedness plan for cyclone in Bangladesh. 2013. Available at Accessed July 18, 2016.

GoB: Government emergency preparedness plan for cyclone: List of cyclone shelter centers (Annex 5). March 2014. Available at Accessed July 25, 2016.

Alexander DE: Disaster and Emergency Planning for Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Ahsan MN, Takeuchi K, Vink K, et al.: Factors affecting the evacuation decisions of coastal households during Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh. Environ Hazards. 2016; 15(1): 16-42.

Baker EJ: Predicting response to hurricane warnings: A reanalysis of data from four studies. Mass Emerg. 1979; 4(1): 9-24.

Baker EJ: Hurricane evacuation behavior. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 1991; 9(2): 287-310.

Dow K, Cutter SL: Crying wolf: Repeat responses to hurricane evacuation orders. J Coast Manage. 1998; 26(4): 237-252.

Drabek TE: Disaster-Induced Employee Evacuation. Vol. 60. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado Institute of Behavior, 1999.

Fischer HW, Stine GF, Stoker BL, et al.: Evacuation behaviour: Why do some evacuate, while others do not? A case study of the Ephrata, Pennsylvania (USA) evacuation. Disaster Prev Manag. 1995; 4(4): 30-36.

Dash N, Gladwin H: Evacuation decision making and behavioral responses: Individual and household. Nat Hazards Rev. 2007; 8(3): 69-77.

Garcia C, Fearnley CJ: Evaluating critical links in early warning systems for natural hazards. Environ Hazards. 2012; 11(2): 123-137.

Burnside R: Leaving the big easy: An examination of the hurricane evacuation behavior of New Orleans residents before Hurricane Katrina. J Public Manag Soc Policy. 2006; 12(2): 49-61.

Burnside R, Miller DS, Rivera JD: The impact of information and risk perception on the hurricane evacuation decision-making of Greater New Orleans residents. Sociol Spectr. 2007; 27(6): 727-740.

Dow K, Cutter SL: Public orders and personal opinions: Household strategies for hurricane risk assessment. Environ Hazards. 2000; 2(4): 143-155.

Durage SW, Kattan L, Wirasinghe SC, et al.: Evacuation behavior of house-holds and drivers during a tornado: Analysis based on a stated preference survey in Calgary, Canada. Nat Hazards. 2014; 71(3): 1495-1517.

Perry RW, Greene MR, Lindell MK: Enhancing evacuation warning compliance: Suggestions for emergency planning. Disasters. 1980; 4(4): 433-449.

Stein R, Buzcu-Guven B, Dueñas-Osorio L, et al.: How risk perceptions influence evacuations from hurricanes and compliance with government directives. Policy Stud J. 2013; 41(2): 319-342.

Stein RM, Dueñas-Osorio L, Subramanian D: Who evacuates when hurricanes approach? The role of risk, information, and location. Soc Sci Q. 2010; 91(3): 816-834.

Lindell MK, Kang JE, Prater CS: The logistics of household hurricane evacuation. Nat Hazards. 2011; 58(3): 1093-1109.

Whitehead JC, Edwards B, Van Willigen M, et al.: Heading for higher ground: Factors affecting real and hypothetical hurricane evacuation behavior. Glob Environ Change B Environ Hazards. 2000; 2(4): 133-142.

Hasan S, Ukkusuri S, Gladwin H, et al.: Behavioral model to understand household-level hurricane evacuation decision making. J Transp Eng. 2010; 137(5): 341-348.

Akhand MH: Disaster management and cyclone warning system in Bangladesh. In Zschau J, Küppers A (eds.): Early Warning Systems for Natural Disaster Reduction. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2003: 49-64.

Bern C, Sniezek J, Mathbor G, et al.: Risk factors for mortality in the Bangladesh cyclone of 1991. Bull World Health Org. 1993; 71(1): 73.

Haque CE: Climatic hazards warning process in Bangladesh: Experience of, and lessons from, the 1991 April cyclone. Environ Manag. 1995; 19(5): 719-734.

Haque CE: Atmospheric hazards preparedness in Bangladesh: A study of warning, adjustments and recovery from the April 1991 cyclone. In El-Sabh MI, Venkatesh S, Lomnitz C, et al. (eds.): Earthquake and Atmospheric Hazards. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 1997: 181-202.

Haque CE, Blair D: Vulnerability to tropical cyclones: Evidence from the April 1991 cyclone in coastal Bangladesh. Disasters. 1992; 16(3): 217-229.

Paul BK: Why relatively fewer people died? The case of Bangladesh’s Cyclone Sidr. Nat Hazards. 2009; 50(2): 289-304.

Paul SK, Routray JK: An analysis of the causes of nonresponses to cyclone warnings and the use of indigenous knowledge for cyclone forecasting in Bangladesh. In Leal Filho W (ed.): Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management. Springer, 2013: 15-39.

Uddin J: Dynamics of cyclone evacuation behavior among southwestern coastal residents in Bangladesh: A case study of cyclone Sidr. J Emerg Manag. 2010; 8: 63-71.

Paul BK: Factors affecting evacuation behavior: The case of 2007 Cyclone Sidr, Bangladesh. Prof Geogr. 2012; 64(3): 401-414.

Matsuda I: Loss of human lives induced by the cyclone of 29–30 April, 1991 in Bangladesh. GeoJournal. 1993; 31(4): 319-325.

Islam AS, Bala SK, Hussain MA, et al.: Performance of coastal structures during Cyclone Sidr. Nat Hazards Rev. 2010; 12(3): 111-116.

Elder K, Xirasagar S, Miller N, et al.: African Americans’ decisions not to evacuate New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina: A qualitative study. Am J Public Health. 2007; 97(Suppl 1): S124-S129.

Zhang F, Morss RE, Sippel JA, et al.: An in-person survey investigating public perceptions of and responses to Hurricane Rita forecasts along the Texas coast. Weather Forecast. 2007; 22(6): 1177-1190.

McFadden D, Train K: Mixed MNL models for discrete response. J Appl Econ. 2000; 15(5): 447-470.

Bhat CR: Simulation estimation of mixed discrete choice models using randomized and scrambled Halton sequences. Transp Res B Methodol. 2003; 37(9): 837-855.

McFadden D, Ruud PA: Estimation by simulation. Rev Econ Stat. 1994; 76(4): 591-608.

Stern S: Simulation-based estimation. J Econ Lit. 1997; 35(4): 2006-2039.

Washington SP, Karlaftis MG, Mannering F: Statistical and Econometric Methods for Transportation Data Analysis. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2010.

Riad JK, Norris FH, Ruback RB: Predicting evacuation in two major disasters: Risk perception, social influence, and access to resources. J Appl Soc Psychol. 1999; 29(5): 918-934.

Lindell MK, Lu J-C, Prater CS: Household decision making and evacuation in response to Hurricane Lili. Nat Hazards Rev. 2005; 6(4): 171-179.

Paul BK, Rashid H, Islam MS, et al.: Cyclone evacuation in Bangladesh: Tropical cyclones Gorky (1991) vs. Sidr (2007). Environ Hazards. 2010; 9(1): 89-101.

Talukder J, Roy GD, Ahmad M: Living with Cyclone: Study on Storm Surge Prediction and Disaster Preparedness. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Community Development Library, 1992.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Journal of Emergency Management
This site uses cookies to maintain session information critical to the user's experience and environment on this system. Click "Accept Cookies" to continue.
For more details please visit our privacy statement at: Privacy & GDPR