This research asserts that flood risk perception of individuals living in floodplains influences their preparedness for taking actions to protect themselves from flood hazards. The results of this research are backed up by quantitative analysis of survey responses of individuals living in floodplains of Corvallis, OR in the USA. The results confirm a significant influence of demographics on flood risk perception of these individuals. Interdependencies among demographics, risk-perceptions, and different choices of potential flood protective actions under varying flooding scenarios were also found to exist.
Results show, that among respondents of this study, only income and flood experience shown significant relationships with home location relative to the 100-year and 500-year floodplains. Surprisingly for this study, there was not statistically significant difference on flood extent perception amid respondents living in the 100-year and 500-year floodplains. In addition, flood hazard was perceived to be distant for the majority of respondents living in both floodplains. Life-threatening events as such as car accidents or cancer are perceived as more frightening than flooding among groups of residents of low education level and low income living in floodplains.
Respondents shown low confidence on flood insurance full coverage. Only fifteen percent of respondents were confident or very-confident on their flood insurance full coverage of any home or property damages, they were mainly the ones that already had flood insurance. The main distrust was among the ones that did not possess flood insurance.
Female respondents were fearful under all scenarios of varying floodwater depths represented by the four components, And Respondents, with children living at home, perceived higher fear of being injured or dying in life threatening events than respondents living without children at home.
Flood experience resulted in the most important covariate to explain flood insurance possession. Respondents with flood experience were more likely to have flood insurance. On the contrary, respondents who had flood insurance were less likely to move from their current home after flooding when water depth was not specified to respondent. In addition, respondents with higher concerns about cost of housing or cost of renting were less likely to move from their current home than the ones with lower concerns. In addition, respondents with children at home were more likely to move out of current home after flooding when water depth was not specified to respondent.
Some adaptation measures can produce unintended consequences. The result of this research show that when a flood adaptation measures was applied for helping a specific demographic group, it ended up hurting the demographics of another group. The use of system dynamics is crucial for identifying this very important phenomenon of demographic change. If not identified on time, unintended consequences can lead to the system failure.
Future research can use the presented conceptual model and larger population samples in order to confirm significant flood adaptation pathways among different demographic groups.