People live in hurricane zones for several reasons. One reason is that they can’t afford to move. Another reason is that they see no other choice if they want to stay connected to their families or contribute to the well-being of their community.
Why people stay in disaster-prone cities
Trust matters I found that people decide where to live in part based on how much trust they have in their public officials. You can’t imagine what it’s like As outsiders, it can be confusing to see people return to rebuild amid devastation. It just feels like home.
Often, people do not leave when a hurricane is coming because they cannot afford to. Low-income individuals can lack a car, a place to flee to, or the health insurance that would allow them to avoid debilitating medical conditions that hinder mobility. They are also likelier to be homeless.
Damage to homes in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Photo: Getty Images New research shows that the ties that bind people to their homes are stronger than we imagine, even in the face of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
One query we ran across in our research was “Why do people stay behind during natural disasters?”.
Finally, many people stay behind because they have a job they cannot leave, or because they are homebound as a consequence of age. All of these factors speak to the reality that when natural disasters occur, they do so in a given social, economic, and environmental context.
Why do people live in coastal areas?
Because “coastal towns” have a high-quality of life (barring hurricanes). You have fast access to the water, sailing, fishing. Also water has a high “specific heat”, which means it resists heating up quickly or cooling down quickly. Towns close to water benefit from this “hysteresis effect”.
Another common question is “Why do people live where they do?”.
As one might expect, jobs and employment are important to people’s choice of where to live. But many choose where to live because “ it just feels like home ”. This sense of place compels people around the world to live where they do.
How do community factors influence Hurricane Sandy decisions?
The authors found that “community factors” were critical in decisions to relocate or remain in areas struck by Hurricane Sandy. They noted that “ while the decision to accept or reject the buyout is made independently by each homeowner, this choice is tied to the decisions of one’s neighbors in a very real way.”.