Climatic Change

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 291–305 | Cite as

Evaluating climate change adaptation through evacuation decisions: a case study of cyclone management in India

  • Saudamini DasEmail author


Adaptations to extreme climatic events like tropical storms are being built into disaster management by empowering vulnerable communities through activities like disaster awareness, trainings on rescue measures, provisions of better infrastructure, and strengthening of societal institutions under the Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management programs. With increasing threats from climate change, it is essential that the effectiveness of such measures is evaluated and limitations are addressed. The State of Odisha in Eastern India had witnessed nearly 10 years of such capacity building for cyclone management when it was hit by the severe cyclone “Phailin” in 2013. The public response to the evacuation order was overwhelming. In some areas, as many as 95% of the residents evacuated, and they were aware of the precautions to be taken before a storm strikes whereas some other areas showed as low as 33% evacuation and least interest in training and capacity building programs and maintenance of critical infrastructure like cyclone shelters. Analyzing evacuation responses with logistic regression, social economic issues like unemployment, prevalence of theft, and no provision for the evacuation of livestock to safety explained the evacuation failure significantly. In the future, such extreme events are predicted to hit coastal areas with more intensity due to climate change, and this necessitates that governments address such socio-economic problems along with cyclone adaptation programs to make disaster management more effective.



This study was undertaken under the Government Of India-United Nations Development Programme project “Enhancing Institutional and Community Resilience to Disaster and Climate Change” and financial help from the Government of Odisha is sincerely acknowledged. Sincere thanks go to all three anonymous reviewers for their excellent suggestions and to Tejal Johri for efficient research assistance.

Supplementary material

10584_2018_2292_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (20 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 20 kb)
10584_2018_2292_MOESM2_ESM.docx (43 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 42 kb)


  1. Baker E (1991) Hurricane evacuation behavior. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters 9:287–310Google Scholar
  2. Bateman JM, Edwards B (2002) Gender and evacuation: a closer look at why women are more likely to evacuate for hurricanes. Nat Hazards Review 3:107–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cardona OD, van Aalst MK, Birkmann J, Fordham M, McGregor G, Perez R, Pulwarty RS, Schipper ELF, Sinh BT (2012) Determinants of risk: exposure and vulnerability. In: Field CB, et al. (eds.) Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 65–108Google Scholar
  4. Das S (2016) Economics of Natural disasters in Odisha. In: The Economy of Odisha: A Profile. Nayak PB, Panda SC and Pattanaik PK (Eds). Oxford University Press, Delhi. Pp.266–301Google Scholar
  5. Das S (2014) Lessons learnt from cyclone Phailin on community preparedness, Response and Role of State Institutions. A Report outlining the Resilience Building Approach to Disaster Management for the State of Odisha. Report submitted to Orissa State Disaster Management Authority, Government of Odisha, Bhubaneswar.Google Scholar
  6. Das S (2012) The role of natural ecosystems and socioeconomic factors in the vulnerability of coastal villages to cyclone and storm surge. Nat Hazards 64(1):531–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Das S (2011) Examining the storm protection services of mangroves of Orissa during the 1999 cyclone. Econ Polit Weekly, XLVI 24:60–68Google Scholar
  8. Dash N, Gladwin H (2007) Evacuation decision making and behavioral responses: individual and household. Nat Hazards Rev 8(3):69–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Drabek TE (2004) Social dimensions of disaster 2nd ed.: instructor guide. Emmitsburg, Maryland: Emergency Management Institute, Federal Emergency Management AgencyGoogle Scholar
  10. Drabek TE (1999) Understanding disaster warning responses. Social Science Journal 36:515–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Edmonds AL, Cutter SL (2008) Planning for pet evacuations during disasters. J Homel Secur Emerg Manag 5(1):1–33Google Scholar
  12. EMDAT (2015) The international disaster management database. Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, World Health Organization. EM-DAT: the OFDA/CRED international disasters data base. Brussels, Belgium: Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, 2005. (World Wide Web URL: Last accessed 15 December, 2015
  13. ESCAP UNISDR (2012) Reducing vulnerability and exposure to disasters: the Asia-Pacific disaster report 2012, United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, 10200 Bangkok – Thailand, pp-164Google Scholar
  14. Esteban M, Valenzuela VP, Yun NY, Mikami T, Shibayama T, Matsumaru R, Takagi H, Thao ND, De Leon M, Oyama T, Nakamura R (2015) Evacuation preparations and awareness. Inter J Sustain Fut Hum Sec (J-SustaiN) 3(1):000–000
  15. Government of Odisha (GoO) (1999) White paper on super cyclones in Odisha, Revenue Department. Government of Odisha, December 1999, Annexure IGoogle Scholar
  16. Government of Odisha (GoO) (2009) Last accessed on 18th March 2018
  17. Government of Odisha (GoO) (2014) State Disaster Management Plan Odisha., Last accessed 15th August 2017
  18. Haque CE (1995) Climatic hazards warning process in Bangladesh: experience of, and lessons from, the 1991 April cyclone. Environ Manag 19:719–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Heath SE, Kass PH, Beck AM, Glickman LT (2001) Human and pet-related risk factors for household evacuation failure during a natural disaster. Am J Epidemiol 153:659–665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Huang SK, Lindell MK, Prater CS (2016) Who leaves and who stays? A review and statistical meta-analysis of hurricane evacuation studies. Environ Behav 48:991–1029. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huang SK, Lindell MK, Prater CS, Wu HC, Siebeneck LK (2012) Household evacuation decision making in response to hurricane Ike. Nat Hazards Rev 13:283–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hunt MG, Bogue K, Rohrbaugh N (2012) Pet ownership and evacuation prior to hurricane Irene. Animal 2(4):529–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Imamura F (2009) Dissemination of information and evacuation procedures in the 2004–2007 tsunamis, including the 2004 Indian Ocean. J earthquake and tsunami, 3, 59.
  24. Ikefuji M, Ryo H (2012) Natural disasters in a two-sector model of endogenous growth. J Public Economics, 96 p784:9–10Google Scholar
  25. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) (2013) NWP report on Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘PHAILIN’ over the Bay of Bengal (October 8–14, 2013),, accessed on 18th March 2018
  26. IPCC (2014) Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, RK Pachauri and LA Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151ppGoogle Scholar
  27. Lim H, Lim MBB, Piantanakulchai M (2016) Determinants of household flood evacuation mode choice in a developing country. Nat Hazards 84:507–532. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lindell MK, Huang SK, Prater CS (2017) Predicting residents’ responses to the May 1–4, 2010, Boston water contamination incident. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters 35:84–113Google Scholar
  29. Lindell MK, Prater CS, Gregg CE, Apatu E, Huang SK Wu HC (2015) Households’ immediate responses to the 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami. Int J Disast Risk Re 12:328–340. Google Scholar
  30. Lindell MK, Perry RW (2012) The protective action decision model: theoretical modifications and additional evidence. Risk Anal 32:616–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lindell MK, Kang JE, Prater CS (2011) The logistics of household evacuation in hurricane Lili. Nat Hazards 58:1093–1109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mohapatra M, Mandal GS, Bandyopadhyay BK, Tyagi A, Mohanty UC (2012) Classification of cyclone hazard prone districts of India. Nat Hazards 63(3):1601–1620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Red Cross Society of India (RCS) (2008) Annual Report 2007–08. Indian Red Cross Society, Orissa State Branch, B hubaneswar, pp6Google Scholar
  34. Ricchetti-Masterson K, Horney J (2013) Social factors as modifiers of hurricane Irene evacuation behavior in Beaufort County, NC. Plos Curr Disast.
  35. Sharma U, Patwardhan A, Patt A (2013) Education as a determinant of response to cyclone warnings: evidence from coastal zones in India. Ecol Soc 18(2):18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sharma U, Patawardhan A, Parthasarathy D (2009) Assessing adaptive capacity to tropical cyclones in the east coast of India: a pilot study of public response to cyclone warning information. Clim Chang 94(1–2):189–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sharma U, Patwardhan A (2008) Methodology for identifying vulnerable hotspots to tropical cyclone hazards in India. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 13(7), 703-717.
  38. Siebeneck LK, Lindell MK, Prater CS, Wu HC, Huang SK (2013) Evacuees’ reentry concerns and experiences in the aftermath of hurricane Ike. Nat Hazards 65:2267–2286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Whitehead J, Edwards B, Van Willigen M, Maiolo JR, Wilson K, Smith KT (2001) Heading for higher ground: factors affecting real and hypothetical hurricane evacuation behavior. Global Environmental Change Part B: Environmental Hazards 2(4):133–142 139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. World Bank (2013) Cyclone Devastation Averted: India Weathers Phailin,, accessed on 18th March 2018
  41. Wu HC, Lindell MK, Prater CS (2012) Logistics of hurricane evacuation in hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Transport Res F- Traf 15:445–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wu HC, Lindell MK, Prater CS, Huang SK (2013) Logistics of hurricane evacuation in hurricane Ike. In: Cheung J, Song H (eds) Logistics: perspectives, approaches and challenges. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge NY, pp 127–140Google Scholar
  43. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (2013) Preparing for Disaster: Lessons from Phailin Response,, accessed on 18th March 2018

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economic GrowthDelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Economic Analysis and ResearchNational Bank for Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations