Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Dynamics of cyclone evacuation behavior among southwestern coastal residents in Bangladesh: A case study of cyclone Sidr

Jalal Uddin, MSS


Cyclone Sidr struck the southwestern coast of Bangladesh on November 15, 2007, resulting in 3,406 deaths and damaged properties of about US $1.7 billion. Despite the government’s sincere efforts, thousands of coastal residents did not comply with the evacuation orders. This article attempts to identify the sociodemographic factors affecting evacuation choices during the cyclone. Following systematic random sampling technique, a total of 384 heads of household was surveyed in the southwestern coast of Bangladesh. The bivariate results indicate that single women, older residents, people with small possessions, and people with higher level of education and occupation are more likely to evacuate. Moreover, level of education, household’s status of food security, trust in cyclone warning, and perceived severity of cyclone are also found as significant predictors of evacuation choice. Trust in cyclone warning has been found as the single best predictor. This article recommends improvement in the cyclone warning system, establishment of more public cyclone shelters, and implementation of different campaigns in coastal areas to increase the use of public shelters.


evacuation behavior, sociodemographic factors, cyclone Sidr

Full Text:



Government of Bangladesh (GoB): Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh: Damage, Loss and Needs Assessment for Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction. Dhaka, Bangladesh: GoB, 2008.

Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM): Super Cyclone Sidr 2007: Impacts and Strategies for Interventions. Dhaka: Bangladesh Secretariat, 2008.

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

United Nation: United Nation’s Rapid Initial Assessment Report on Cyclone Sidr. November 22, 2007.

Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS): Statistical Pocket Book of Bangladesh 2007. Dhaka: BBS, 2008.

Shamsuddoha M, Chowdhury RK: Climate Change Impact and Disaster Vulnerabilities in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh. Dhaka: COAST Trust, 2007.

IPCC: Synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001. Available at SYRtechsum.pdf. Accessed October 9, 2008.

Chowdhury AMR, Bhuyia AU, Choudhury AY, et al.: The Bangladesh cyclone of 1991: Why so many people died. Disasters. 1993; 17(4): 291-304.

Quarantelli EL: Social support systems: Some behavioral patterns in the context of mass evacuation activities. In Sowder BJ (ed.): Disasters and Mental Health: Selected Contemporary Perspectives. Rockville, MD: National Institute of Mental Health, 1985: 122-136.

Solís D, Thomas H, Letson L: Determinants of household hurricane evacuation choice in Florida. Paper presented at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, January 31 to February 3, 2009.

Sharma U, Patwardhan A, Parthasarathy D: Assessing adaptive capacity to tropical cyclones in the East coast of India: A pilot study of public response to cyclone warning information. Clim Change. 2009; 94: 189-209.

Perry RW: Evacuation decision-making in natural disasters. Mass Emerg. 1979; 4: 25-38.

Perry RW, Lindell MK: The effects of ethnicity on evacuation decision-making. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 1991; 9: 47-68.

Becker MH: The health belief model and personal health behavior. Health Educ Monogr. 1974; 2(4): 324-473.

Houts PS, Lindell MK, Hu TW, et al.: The protective action decision model applied to evacuation during the Three Mile Island crisis. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 1984; 2: 27-39.

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

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

Howell S, Bonner D: Citizen hurricane evacuation behavior in southeastern Louisiana: A twelve parish survey, Survey Research Center, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, 2005.

Gershon RRM, Qureshi KA, Rubin MS, et al.: Factors associated with high-rise evacuation: Qualitative results from the World Trade Center. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2007; 22(3): 165-173.

Whitehead JC: One million dollars per mile? The opportunity costs of hurricane evacuation. Ocean Coast Manage. 2003; 46: 1069-1083.

Smith KT: Estimating the cost of hurricane evacuation: A study of evacuation behavior and risk interpretation using combined reveal and stated preferences household data, Department of Economics, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 1999.

Bhattacharjee S, Patrolia DR, Hanson TR: Study of evacuation behavior of coastal Gulf of Mexico residents. Paper presented at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, January 31 to February 3, 2009.

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

Gladwin H, Peacock WG: Warning and evacuation: A night for hard houses. In Peacock WG, Morrow BH, Gladwin H (eds.): Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender, and the Sociology of Disasters. London: Routledge, 1997: 52-74.

Bateman JM, Edwards B: Gender and evacuation. A closer look at why women are more likely to evacuate for hurricanes. Nat Hazards Rev. 2002; 3: 107-117.

Sorensen JH: Hazard warning systems: Review of 20 years of progress. Nat Hazards Rev. 2000; 1: 119-125.

Amin ZA: Learning to live with disasters. The Daily Star, Dhaka, December 2, 2007.

Bryman A: Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 230-240.

Gladwin C, Gladwin H, Peacock W: Modeling hurricane evacuation decisions with ethnographic method. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 2001; 19: 117-143.

Wilmot CG, Mei B: Comparison of alternative trip generation models for hurricane evacuation. Nat Hazards Rev. 2004; 5(4): 170-178.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Emergency Management