Risk information sources for snow disaster risk preparedness in Scotland

Josephine Adekola, Fabrice G. Renaud, Carol Hill

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Heavy snow disruptions are common and costly occurrences in the UK, including Scotland. Yet, heavy snow remains an under-researched aspect of disaster risks in Scotland. This paper critically examines the 2018 heavy snow event in Scotland referred to as ‘Beast from the East’ (BfE) to explore the different sources of information used by the public in preparation for and response to heavy snow emergencies. Our study also examined the effectiveness of BfE risk communication between authorities and the public and sought to determine if there is a relationship between risk information received and the intention to mitigate risk. Data were collected through a semi-structured survey from (n=180) residence of the Annandale and Eskdale region of Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland. Our analysis shows that public authority information sources were the most sought-after information sources, and then online and web sources. We found statistically significant differences between groups (such as age, gender, and abilities) in terms of using risk information sources. Further analysis shows that the relationship between information received and the intention to mitigate risks is not linear but influenced by intervening variables such as work pressures, financial commitment, and stakeholders’ expectations. We argue that where full adherence to official risk advice is required, policymakers should carefully consider issues around these three factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jul 2021


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