Risk Perception and the role of experience: Case studies of Annotto Bay and Port Maria in Jamaica
Jamaica is a small developing country located in the Caribbean region. This island is affected by several natural disasters as it is located in the general path that hurricanes and other storms travel. Flash flooding, from seasonal rainfall is one of the main disasters affecting the island. Factors such as increases in population and intense rainfall associated with storms and hurricanes have played a role in the observed rise in flood damages. Another factor that worsens flood damages is poor planning or zoning of land especially when development is allowed to continue in areas not fit for construction or located on the floodplains. In spite, of the fact that floods continue to be the most regularly recurring natural hazard in Jamaica very little research if any has been done on flood risk and perception and the role that experience plays in decision making. The purpose of this research is to better understand risk perception and the role of intervening variables such as age, gender, monthly income and experience in the communities of Annotto Bay and Port Maria, St. Mary Parish Jamaica. Due to the nature of this study, at risk populations were surveyed and interviewed to get an idea of what their perceptions are. Results indicated that demographic factors do not influence perceptions of the residents, however, residents from both Annotto Bay and Port Maria perceive their communities to be at high risk. Also, there is a variation between the threat that concerns each community more. Nevertheless, the river overflowing its banks was popular between the two. Older individuals within the study are more likely to take protective action in the event of a flood threat, and they also believed that the local authorities are taking some action to reduce flood risk. However, residents from both communities perceived that the authorities are not doing enough to mitigate flood risk. The residents were asked about their perception of what can be done to alleviate flood risk. Interestingly, all of the recommendations were structural, for example, cleaning of drains, dredging the river and implementing stone baskets. It is therefore important for emergency managers to understand what the residents of these vulnerable communities perceive, and the need for non-structural fixes such as better policies, improved flood plain maps and better building codes.
Williams, Shadane. (August 2017). Risk Perception and the role of experience: Case studies of Annotto Bay and Port Maria in Jamaica (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6521.)
Williams, Shadane. Risk Perception and the role of experience: Case studies of Annotto Bay and Port Maria in Jamaica. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, August 2017. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6521. August 14, 2018.
Williams, Shadane, “Risk Perception and the role of experience: Case studies of Annotto Bay and Port Maria in Jamaica” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, August 2017).
Williams, Shadane. Risk Perception and the role of experience: Case studies of Annotto Bay and Port Maria in Jamaica [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; August 2017.
East Carolina University