Good, bad and ugly: exploring evacuation compliance, Murrumbidgee Region flooding, March 2012

S. Yeo, A. Gissing, K. Haynes, C. Keys, S. Gray, Z. Richards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Previous floods in NSW have highlighted the difficulties of achieving compliance with evacuation orders. This paper draws on interviews with the emergency services and residents to explore evacuation behaviours for five levee-protected communities in the Murrumbidgee region of NSW during flooding in March 2012.
High rates of compliance were observed at North Wagga Wagga, Wagga Wagga and Darlington Point, but low rates were observed at Hay and Urana. Key drivers of these behaviours appear to be the perceived credibility of the stated threat of flooding, and people’s assessment of their capacities to cope with any impacts should they not evacuate. A key modulator of people’s threat assessment is the degree of trust they have in the emergency services and the information they issue. The exclusion of local knowledge from the decision-making process, or public disagreement between state and local authorities erodes confidence in the evacuation order.
Means of increasing compliance with evacuation orders are described, including improving flood intelligence, and engaging local communities as equal players in setting evacuation triggers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFloodplain Management Australia National Conference 2018
Subtitle of host publicationconference papers and presentations
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
EventFloodplain Management Australia National Conference (2018) - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 29 May 20181 Jun 2018


ConferenceFloodplain Management Australia National Conference (2018)
Abbreviated titleFMA 2018
CityGold Coast


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