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Intention to Comply With Mandatory Hurricane Evacuation Orders Among Persons Living Along a Coastal Area

  • Belinda M. Reininger, Sartaj Alam Raja, Ana Sanchez Carrasco, Zhongxue Chen, Barbara Adams, Joseph McCormick and Mohammad H. Rahbar...



We examined the intention to comply with mandatory hurricane evacuation orders among respondents living in coastal areas with pronounced poverty by demographic and location characteristics.


A 3-county door-to-door survey was conducted with 1 randomly selected resident per household. Households were selected using a 2-stage cluster sampling strategy and stratified by county. The final sample included 3088 households in 100 census tracts across 3 counties.


Findings suggest that the majority of residents living in areas prone to hurricanes intend to comply with mandatory evacuation orders regardless of income level. Variation in intention to comply with mandatory evacuation orders is shown by age, gender, ethnicity, education, acculturation, county, and distance from shoreline.


The demonstrated high intention to comply with evacuation orders in impoverished areas suggests a need for improved planning to evacuate the most vulnerable residents. Demographic and location characteristics associated with decreased intention to comply may be considered for targeting messages and education before disasters to modifying intentions and plans to evacuate. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:46-54)


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Belinda M. Reininger, DrPH, Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences, UT School of Public Health-Brownsville, 80 Fort Brown, SPH Bldg, Brownsville, TX 78520. (e-mail:


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