Working Paper

Understanding Flood Risk Decisionmaking: Implications for Flood Risk Communication Program Design

Summary

Understanding how individuals make decisions and the mental strategies they employ will contribute to better defining the goals of a flood risk communication program and then designing a program that will secure those goals.

Abstract

Floodplain land-use decisions are made by individuals in households, businesses, and local governments. Whatever the venue, the decisions made are the outcome of multiple interacting influences, with one being consideration of flood risk. The goal of a flood risk communication program may be to improve the understanding of flood risk among those making decisions. An alternative goal may be to change the decisions made. Understanding how individuals make decisions and the mental strategies they employ, as well as understanding the larger context of decisionmaking, will contribute to better defining the goals of a flood risk communication program and then designing a program that will secure those goals.