"One effective precautionary measure would be to purchase flood insurance. In reality, though, only a portion of these coastal residents who live in the imminent threats of floods have flood insurance. Naturally, we start to scratch our heads and wonder, "what drives people to buy flood insurance?"
Driven by this question, my co-authors and I analyzed the Gulf Coast Climate Change survey data merged with contextual data, and made several important findings on individual voluntary flood insurance purchase behaviors. The results are published in the journal: Water Research
These findings include:
1. Flood risks in FEMA flood map affect the voluntary purchase of flood insurance.
2. Voluntary behavior is influenced by perceptions of flood-related risks.
3. Intensity of the local flood events in the past affects the voluntary behavior.
4. Social factors especially income significantly affect the voluntary behavior. "
"Purchasing flood insurance may relieve financial burden for home owners after a big storm hits. With the deeply troubled National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), it is sensible for home owners to think of alternatives. By utilizing original survey data merged with contextual data on flood risks, my coauthors and I have investigated the determinants of coastal residents' support for two adaptation policies: incentives for relocation and funding for educational programs for emergency planning and evacuation. The major finding of this study is that perceptions of flood-related risks plays an essential role mediating the contextual flood risks and adaptation policies. The contextual risks, indicated by distance from the coast, maximum wind speed and peak height of storm surge from the last hurricane landfall, and percentage of high-risk flood zone per county, do not directly exert influence on policy support. Instead, these contextual risks impact one's adaptation policy support through risk perceptions. This finding implies the significance of risk perceptions and highlights the need for effective and accurate risk communication. This study has also been published on Water Research. "