Advertisement

Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 193–209 | Cite as

Simulating the effects of social networks on a population’s hurricane evacuation participation

  • Michael J. Widener
  • Mark W. Horner
  • Sara S. Metcalf
Original Article

Abstract

Scientists have noted that recent shifts in the earth’s climate have resulted in more extreme weather events, like stronger hurricanes. Such powerful storms disrupt societal function and result in a tremendous number of casualties, as demonstrated by recent hurricane experience in the US Planning for and facilitating evacuations of populations forecast to be impacted by hurricanes is perhaps the most effective strategy for reducing risk. A potentially important yet relatively unexplored facet of people’s evacuation decision-making involves the interpersonal communication processes that affect whether at-risk residents decide to evacuate. While previous research has suggested that word-of-mouth effects are limited, data supporting these assertions were collected prior to the widespread adoption of digital social media technologies. This paper argues that the influence of social network effects on evacuation decisions should be revisited given the potential of new social media for impacting and augmenting information dispersion through real-time interpersonal communication. Using geographic data within an agent-based model of hurricane evacuation in Bay County, Florida, we examine how various types of social networks influence participation in evacuation. It is found that strategies for encouraging evacuation should consider the social networks influencing individuals during extreme events, as it can be used to increase the number of evacuating residents.

Keywords

Hurricane evacuation Agent-based model Social networks Social media 

JEL Classification

Q54 C63 H31 

References

  1. Adams PC (1995) A reconsideration of personal boundaries in space-time. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 85(2):267–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams P (1998) Network topologies and virtual place. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 88(1):88–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker EJ (1991) Hurricane evacuation behavior. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters 9(2):287–310Google Scholar
  4. Batty M (2005) Cities and complexity. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Chakraborty J, Tobin GA, Montz BE (2005) Population evacuation: assessing spatial variability in geophysical risk and social vulnerability to natural hazards. Nat Hazards Rev 6(1):23–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen X (2008) Microsimulation of hurricane evacuation strategies of Galveston Island. Prof Geogr 60(2):160–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen X, Zhan FB (2006) Agent-based modelling and simulation of urban evacuation: relative effectiveness of simultaneous and staged evacuation strategies. J Oper Res Soc 59(1):25–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen X, Meaker JW, Zhan FB (2006) Agent-based modeling and analysis of hurricane evacuation procedures for the Florida Keys. Nat Hazards 38(3):321–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Christakis NA, Fowler JH (2007) The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years. N Engl J Med 357:370–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crowe A (2011) The social media manifesto: a comprehensive review of the impact of social media on emergency management. J Bus Contin Emer Plan 5(1):409–420Google Scholar
  11. Davis JA, Smith TW, Marsden PV (2005) General social surveys 1972–2004. ICPSR04295-v2. National Opinion Research Center, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  12. Dow K, Cutter SL (2002) Emerging hurricane evacuation issues: hurricane Floyd and South Carolina. Nat Hazards Rev 3(1):12–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dugundji E, Páez A, Arentze T (2008) Social networks, choices, mobility and travel. Environ Plan B 35(6):956–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eisenman DP, Cordasco KM, Asch S, Golden JF, Glik D (2007) Disaster planning and risk communication with vulnerable communities: lessons from Hurricane Katrina. Am J Public Health 97(Supplement 1):S109–S115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ellison NB, Steinfield C, Lampe C (2007) The benefits of Facebook friends: social capital and college students use of online social network sites. J Comput Med Commun 12(4):1143–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Epstein JM, Axtell R (1996) Growing artificial societies: social science from the bottom up. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. Erdös P, Rényi A (1960) On the evolution of random graphs. Publ Math Inst Hung Acad Sci 5:17–61Google Scholar
  18. Farahmand K (1997) Application of simulation modeling to emergency population evacuation. In: Proceedings of the 1997 winter simulation conference, Atlanta. IEEE, Piscataway, pp 1181–1188Google Scholar
  19. Fu H, Wilmot CG (2004) Sequential logit dynamic travel demand model for hurricane evacuation. Transp Res Rec J Transp Res Board 1:19–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Granovetter M (1978) Threshold models of collective behavior. Am J Sociol 83(6):1420–1443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grimm V, Railsback SF (2005) Individual-based modeling and ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJGoogle Scholar
  22. Hamilton J (2009) Ourplace: the convergence of locative media and online participatory culture. In: OZCHI 2009 conference of the Australian computer-human interaction special interest group, Melbourne, Australia. ACM, pp 393–396Google Scholar
  23. Heath SE, Beck AM, Kass PH, Glickman LT (2001) Risk factors for pet evacuation failure after a slow-onset disaster. J Am Vet Med Assoc 218(12):1905–1910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Horner MW, Downs JA (2007) Testing a flexible geographic information system-based network flow model for routing hurricane disaster relief goods. Transp Res Rec J Transp Res Board 2022(1):47–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hughes AL, Palen L (2009) Twitter adoption and use in mass convergence and emergency events. Int J Emerg Manag 6(3):248–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. HurricaneCity (2011) Panama City, Florida’s history with tropical systems. http://www.hurricanecity.com/city/panamacity.htm. Accessed 05 January 2011
  27. Kar B, Hodgson ME (2008) A GIS based model to determine site suitability of emergency evacuation shelters. Trans in GIS 12(2):227–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kim S, Shekhar S, Min M (2008) Contraflow transportation network reconfiguration for evacuation route planning. Knowl Data Eng, IEEE Trans 20(8):1115–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lazo JK, Waldman DM, Morrow BH, Thacher JA (2010) Household evacuation decision making and the benefits of improved hurricane forecasting: developing a framework for assessment. Weather Forecast 25(1):207–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lindell MK, Lu JC, Prater CS (2005) Household decision making and evacuation in response to Hurricane Lili. Nat Hazards Rev 6(4):171–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Milgram S (1967) The small world problem. Psychol Today 2(1):60–67Google Scholar
  32. NOAA, FEMA, Florida So, Engineers UACo (1999) Northwest Florida Hurricane evacuation study technical data report for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Holmes, Jackson and Washington Counties, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  33. Páez A, Scott DM (2007) Social influence on travel behavior: a simulation example of the decision to telecommute. Environ Plan A 39(3):647–665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Páez A, Scott DM, Volz E (2008) A discrete choice approach to modeling social influence on individual decision making. Environ Plan B 35(6):1055–1069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Robinson JP, Kestnbaum M, Neustadtl A, Alvarez A (2000) Mass media use and social life among Internet users. Soc Sci Comput Rev 18(4):490–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sakaki T, Okazaki M, Matsuo Y (2010) Earthquake shakes Twitter users: real-time event detection by social sensors. In: WWW2010 19th international conference on World Wide Web, Raleigh, North Carolina. ACM, pp 851–860Google Scholar
  37. Starbird K, Palen L, Hughes AL, Vieweg S (2010) Chatter on the red: what hazards threat reveals about the social life of microblogged information. In: CSCW 10 conference on computer supported cooperative work, Savannah, Georgia. ACM, pp 241–250Google Scholar
  38. Sutton J, Palen L, Shklovski I (2008) Backchannels on the front lines: emergent uses of social media in the 2007 southern California wildfires. Crisis (May):1–9Google Scholar
  39. Urbina E, Wolshon B (2003) National review of hurricane evacuation plans and policies: a comparison and contrast of state practices. Transp Res Part A Policy Pract 37(3):257–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Watts DJ (2003) Small worlds: the dynamics of networks between order and randomness. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  41. Westervelt JD (1999) Modeling mobile individuals in dynamic landscapes. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 13(3):191–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Whitehead JC, Edwards B, Van Willigen M, Maiolo JR, Wilson K, Smith KT (2000) Heading for higher ground: factors affecting real and hypothetical hurricane evacuation behavior. Global Environ Chang Part B Environ Hazards 2(4):133–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Widener MJ, Horner MW (2011) A hierarchical approach to modeling hurricane disaster relief goods distribution. J Transp Geogr 19(4):821–828CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Williams BM, Tagliaferri AP, Meinhold SS, Hummer JE, Rouphail NM (2007) Simulation and analysis of freeway lane reversal for coastal hurricane evacuation. J Urban Plan Dev 133(1):61–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wolshon B, Catarella-Michel A, Lambert L (2006) Louisiana highway evacuation plan for Hurricane Katrina: proactive management of a regional evacuation. J Transp Eng 132(1):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Young HP (2001) Individual strategy and social structure: an evolutionary theory of institutions. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Widener
    • 1
  • Mark W. Horner
    • 3
  • Sara S. Metcalf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity at Buffalo, SUNYBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyThe Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations