“My Kids Are My Priority”: Mothers’ Decisions to Evacuate for Hurricane Irma and Evacuation Intentions for Future Hurricanes

Kaitlyn E. Brodar, Annette M. La Greca, Naomi Tarlow, Jonathan S. Comer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although families with children are particularly vulnerable in hurricanes, little is known about factors affecting families’ evacuation decisions. Following Hurricane Irma, we evaluated multiple factors potentially influencing mothers’ evacuation decisions and evacuation intentions for future hurricanes. Mothers of children under 18 years (N=536) completed an online survey assessing sociodemographic, hurricane-related, family, and psychological factors, as well as intentions regarding future evacuation. Logistic regression analyses identified factors associated with increased evacuation likelihood. Mothers’ reported reasons for evacuating highlighted family and psychological factors as most critical in decision-making. Mothers who evacuated for Irma or experienced more Irma-related loss/disruption reported significantly greater intention to evacuate for future hurricanes than mothers who did not. Mothers prioritize the safety and comfort of their children and keeping their family together when deciding whether to evacuate. Developing a Family Disaster Plan may facilitate evacuation decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2251-2274
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume41
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Keywords

  • children
  • decision-making
  • evacuation
  • hurricanes
  • mothers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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