An in-person survey investigating public perceptions of and response to Hurricane Rita forecasts along the Texas coast

AMS Citation:
Zhang, F., and Coauthors, 2007: An in-person survey investigating public perceptions of and response to Hurricane Rita forecasts along the Texas coast. Weather and Forecasting, 22, 1177-1190,.
Date:2007-12-01
Resource Type:article
Title:An in-person survey investigating public perceptions of and response to Hurricane Rita forecasts along the Texas coast
Abstract: Hurricane Rita made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border in September 2005, causing major damage and disruption. As Rita approached the Gulf Coast, uncertainties in the storm’s track and intensity forecasts, combined with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, led to major evacuations along the Texas coast and significant traffic jams in the broader Houston area. This study investigates the societal impacts of Hurricane Rita and its forecasts through a face-to-face survey with 120 Texas Gulf Coast residents. The survey explored respondents’ evacuation decisions prior to Hurricane Rita, their perceptions of hurricane risk, and their use of and opinions on Hurricane Rita forecasts. The vast majority of respondents evacuated from Hurricane Rita, and more than half stated that Hurricane Katrina affected their evacuation decision. Although some respondents said that their primary reason for evacuating was local officials’ evacuation order, many reported using information about the hurricane to evaluate the risk it posed to them and their families. Despite the major traffic jams and the minor damage in many evacuated regions, most evacuees interviewed do not regret their decision to evacuate. The majority of respondents stated that they intend to evacuate for a future category 3 hurricane, but the majority would stay for a category 2 hurricane. Most respondents obtained forecasts from multiple sources and reported checking forecasts frequently. Despite the forecast uncertainties, the respondents had high confidence in and satisfaction with the forecasts of Rita provided by the National Hurricane Center.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2007 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or amspubs@ametsoc.org. Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d77w6cdg
Author(s):
  • Fuqing Zhang
  • Rebecca Morss - NCAR/UCAR
  • J. Sippel
  • T. Beckman
  • N. Clements
  • N. Hampshire
  • J. Harvey
  • J. Hernandez
  • Z. Morgan
  • R. Mosier
  • S. Wang
  • S. Winkley
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