What risks determine whether or not people evacuate their homes in advance for severe weather events such as hurricanes? While property damage and personal harm from wind, storm surges and flooding all pose significant threats, new Baker Institute research suggests that it is an aggregation of these factors that determines evacuation behavior.

The study, co-authored by Baker Institute urban politics fellow Bob Stein, shows that people are more sensitive to overall perceived hurricane-related hazards than they are to individual risk types. The authors hope that emergency managers can use this information to achieve greater compliance with emergency government directives and evacuations.