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Why do some people heed evacuation orders given before an impending major disaster such as a hurricane, while others do not? Failure to comply with departure instructions puts the individual at personal peril, as well as the first responders responsible for rescue and evacuation during those dangerous times. For example, during Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, 72% of people refused to evacuate their homes, whereas during Hurricane Rita in the Gulf of Mexico, 53% of people disobeyed orders to evacuate. The purpose of this research is to begin the process of investigating the psychological factors that contribute to individual differences in disregarding evacuation orders. A hurricane preparedness questionnaire was developed using rational methods to assess the psychological reasoning behind why people overlook precautious warning. When completed, the survey will be administered in person to future hurricane victims at disaster response centers.


This poster was presented at the 31st Semi-Annual Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholars Poster Presentation, Dec. 3, 2019.

Mentors: Dr. Howard Sisco (Social Sciences) and Ann Ngana Mundeke (African American Studies)