Factors Associated With Evacuation From Hurricane Isabel in North Carolina, 2003

March 2010 (VOL. 28, NO. 1)

Download this article

Important differences in evacuation exist across households. This study describes associations between social factors and evacuation from Hurricane Isabel by residents of North Carolina in 2003. Census blocks in three affected counties were stratified by flood zone and 30 census blocks were selected probability proportionate to population size from each flood zone. Within selected blocks, 7 random interview locations were chosen using a geographic information systems-based site selection tool. Risk differences and 95% confidence intervals for evacuation were calculated. High levels of neighborhood social cohesion, markers of territoriality (e.g., no trespassing signs), membership in church or civic organization, volunteerism, neighbors’ evacuation, and longer length of residence were associated with reduced hurricane evacuation. Differential levels of social capital, social cohesion, and related social factors contributed to differential rates of evacuation from Hurricane Isabel. Those who reported closer relationships with neighbors and were active volunteers in the community may be more susceptible to evacuation failure and should receive targeted messages regarding evacuation from officials.