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Water resources research v.52 no.9, 2016년, pp.7408 - 7423   SCI SCIE
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Disaster loss and social media: Can online information increase flood resilience?

Allaire, Maura C.
  • 초록  

    Abstract When confronted with natural disasters, individuals around the world increasingly use online resources to become informed of forecasted conditions and advisable actions. This study tests the effectiveness of online information and social media in enabling households to reduce disaster losses. The 2011 Bangkok flood is utilized as a case study since it was one of the first major disasters to affect a substantial population connected to social media. The role of online information is investigated with a mixed methods approach. Both quantitative (propensity score matching) and qualitative (in‐depth interviews) techniques are employed. The study relies on two data sources—survey responses from 469 Bangkok households and in‐depth interviews with internet users who were a subset of the survey participants. Propensity score matching indicates that social media enabled households to reduce flood losses by an average of 37% (USD 3708 per household), using a nearest neighbor estimator. This reduction is substantial when considering that household flood losses for the matched sample averaged USD 8278. Social media offered information not available from other sources, such as localized and nearly real‐time updates of flood location and depth. With this knowledge, households could move belongings to higher ground before floodwaters arrived. These findings suggest that utilizing social media users as sensors could better inform populations during disasters. Overall, the study reveals that online information can enable effective disaster preparedness and reduce losses.


    Key Points: The effectiveness of social media in reducing flood loss is evaluated during the 2011 Bangkok flood A rich data set of household‐level observations allows propensity score matching to test for evidence of a causal relationship Social media enabled households to reduce flood losses substantially, by more than a third, on average


  • 주제어

    risk mitigation .   flood .   disaster management .   internet .   social media .   early warning.  

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