The Effect of Early Flood Warnings on Mitigation and Recovery During the 2010 Pakistan Floods

  • Ginger Turner
  • Farah Said
  • Uzma Afzal
  • Karen Campbell


We estimate the effect of early warnings on the likelihood of households taking action to mitigate damages before the severe 2010 flood in Punjab, Pakistan. Using a survey of 640 households conducted after the floods, we find that face-to-face warnings significantly increase the probability of households taking any pre-flood mitigation action, while remote warnings such as television and radio announcements do not have a significant effect on taking any mitigation. For the most costly mitigation action of reinforcing the house structure, only warning from government officials or mosques significantly increases the likelihood of action. Receiving a warning and taking mitigation action reduces the actual loss of household structure value, and taking pre-flood mitigation action also significantly increases the likelihood of having recovered household possessions.


Mitigation action Pakistan Household Risk perception Framework Remote information sources 



The authors are grateful for financial support from the British Academy, the Lahore School of Economics, the Wharton School, and the Travelers Foundation.


  1. Baker E, Broad K, Czajkowski J, Meyer R, Orlov B (2012) Risk perceptions and preparedness among Mid-Atlantic coastal residents in advance of hurricane sandy. Wharton Risk Center working paper, University of PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
  2. Botzen W, de Boer J, Terpstra T (2013) Framing of risk and preferences for annual and multi-year flood insurance. J Econ Psych 39:357–375, DecemberCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dow, K and SL Cutter (1998) Crying Wolf: Repeat Responses to Hurricane Evacuation Orders. Coastal Management 26:237–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Drobot S and DJ Parker (2007) Advances and challenges in flash flood warnings. Environmental Hazards 7:173–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. EM-DAT (2012) The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database, Universite catholique de Louvain, Brussels,
  6. Fair CC (2011) What Pakistan did right. Foreign policy. Accessed 1 Sept 2013
  7. Hayden MH, S Drobot, S Radil, C Benight, EC Gruntfest, LR Barnes (2007) Information sources for flash flood warnings in Denver, CO and Austin, TX. Environmental Hazards 7:211–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lindell MK, Perry RW (2012) The protective action decision model: theoretical modifications and additional evidence. Risk Anal 32(4):616–32. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01647 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Meyer R (2010) Development and pilot testing of a dynamic hurricane simulator for the laboratory study of hurricane preparedness and mitigation decisions. Wharton Risk Center working paper #2010-09-02Google Scholar
  10. National Disaster Management Authority (2013) National disaster risk reduction policy. Accessed 1 Sept 2013
  11. Pakistan flood warning ‘not passed on’ (2011) BBC News. Accessed 1 Sept 2013
  12. Provincial Disaster Management Authority (2008) Disaster management plan Sindh province. Provincial Disaster Management Authority, KarachiGoogle Scholar
  13. Provincial Disaster Management Authority (2012) Contingency plan Monsoon 2012. Provincial Disaster Management Authority, PeshawarGoogle Scholar
  14. Rogers RW, Prentice-Dunn S (1997) Protection motivation theory. In: Gochman DS (ed) Handbook of health behavior research I: personal and social determinants. Plenum Press, New York, pp 113–132Google Scholar
  15. Vastag B (2011) Pakistan floods highlight weather-data gaps. The Seattle times. Accessed 1 Sept 2013
  16. Webster PJ, Toma VE, Kim HM (2011) Were the 2010 Pakistan floods predictable? Geophys Res Lett 38, L04806. doi: 10.1029/2010GL046346 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ginger Turner
    • 1
  • Farah Said
    • 2
  • Uzma Afzal
    • 2
  • Karen Campbell
    • 3
  1. 1.Swiss ReNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Centre for Research in Business and EconomicsLahore School of EconomicsLahorePakistan
  3. 3.Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations