Risk information sources for snow disaster risk preparedness in Scotland

Josephine Adekola*, Fabrice Renaud, Carol Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Heavy snow disruptions are common and costly occurrences in the UK, including Scotland. Yet, heavy snow remains an underresearched aspect of disaster risks in Scotland. This study critically examined the 2018 heavy snow event in Scotland referred to as the “Beast from the East” (BfE) in order 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 semistructured survey from (n = 180) residents of the Annandale and Eskdale region of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Our analysis shows that public authority information sources were the most sought-after information sources, followed by online and web sources. We found statistically significant differences between groups (such as age, gender, and mobility/disability) 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
Pages (from-to)854-866
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021


  • disaster preparedness
  • heavy snow
  • risk information sources
  • risk perception
  • Scotland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Safety Research


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