Survey on Personal and National Disaster Risk Practices in The Bahams Results
During June 2021, The “I Survived Dorian” project, under the Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Reserach (CCARR) Centre at The University of The Bahamas conducted a survey to gather experiences, views and opinions on disaster managment practices and strategies on both a personal and national level.
Below are some highlighted results from the survey.
Hurricane Dorian & The Bahamas
Hurricane Dorian landed in The Bahamas as a Category 5 storm. It’s 3-day journey would take it across the Abaco Island & Cays, and Grand Bahama.
Concern of Major vs Minor Hurricanes
The survey asked respondents to rank their personal level of concern for Minor Hurricanes (Categories 1 & 2) and Major Hurricanes (Categories 3,4 & 5). The results show that majority of respondents-almost 80% were “Very Concerned” about Major Hurricanes more so than Minor Hurricanes.
It is important to note that although the ranking for “Not Concerned” is very low for both types of Hurricanes, all respondents still were worried about the natural hazards in general.
Greatest Concerns on the Impact of Hurricanes
The survey asked respondents what were some of their greatest concerns on impacts they would face from hurricanes.
Majority of respondents, about 82%, were very concerned about loss of life or facing injuries. 77% were concerned about damage to their homes, 76% were concerned about the broader economic consequences for the country. Some of the other concerns noted were loss of utilities, loss of financial resources to recover, loss of access to healthcare facilities, and mental and physical trauma.
Personal Challenges Faced in Previous Hurricanes
With over 83% of respondents having previously experienced some impacts of hurricanes in the past, respondents were asked what some of the challenges they faced because of the impacts of hurricanes.
Over 50% of respondents cited having experienced loss or damage to housing as a major challenge. About 30% cited hurricanes and their impact having a strain on personal resources as a major challenge. About 40% of respondents stated they have donated money or supplies to others to help them overcome impacts of hurricanes.
Savings For Hurricane Recovery
In maintaining effective household disaster preparedness strategies, having financial resources to assist you during an emergency or help you recover when the emergency is over is vital. Of the survey respondents, 69% said they did not have saving specifically for hurricane recovery, with only 17% saying they did, while 14% were not sure.
EVACUATE OR STAY?
When asked about whether they would be willing to evacuate for a hurricane, 86% of survey respondents said Yes, with only 3% saying No, and 11% being Unsure.
Additionally, for those willing to evacuate, they were asked where they would evacuate. Forty-nine percent said they would evacuate to family or friends house on the same island, 20% saying they would not leave their island, while only 11% said they would go to a public shelter or evacuation point.
Household Preparedness Past vs. Present
The survey asked respondents about what actions they have taken in the past to prepare for hurricanes, and what actions they plan to take for future hurricanes. In previous hurricanes, 91% of survey respondents said that they have prepared disaster supply kits, but there was a decrease in respondents citing this as an action they will take for future hurricanes. About 59% of respondents said that they will develop household emergency plans for future hurricanes compared to the 42% that did it in the past.
Level of Agreement on Possible Nation-wide Strategies in Disaster Management
To better establish a culture of disaster preparedness in the country and individual communities it is essential to understand individual’s place on specific disaster risk or preparedness concerns to find the best course of action.