Human response to extreme events: a review of three post-tsunami disaster case studies

Deanne K. Bird, Catherine Chagué-Goff, Anna Gero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Investigating survivors' behaviour prior to, during and after a disaster provides emergency management agencies with greater understanding of the complexities which influence public response. This information can then be used to develop better community-based disaster risk-reduction strategies. In this paper, we review three posttsunami disaster case studies: the Indian Ocean tsunami (IOT) on 26 December 2004, the Java tsunami on 17 July 2006 and the South Pacific tsunami on 29 September 2009. The 2004 IOT and 2006 Java tsunami surveys involved delayed-response post-disaster research using video interviewing. The 2009 South Pacific tsunami entailed rapid-response post-disaster research using questionnaire interviews. We highlight the major outcomes of each case study and, based on these, make recommendations for improving tsunami education programs in Australia. These include educating the public about tsunami risk, natural warning signs of tsunamis and regionally specific behavioural response. To help facilitate improvements to future post-disaster research, discussion on survey-related issues from each case study is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-239
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


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