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J. S. Becker
H. L. Taylor
B. J. Doody
K. C Wright
E. Gruntfest
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D. Webber


A study was undertaken to review international literature pertaining to people’s behavior in and around floodwater. The review focused on people’s voluntary entry of floodwater. From the literature, five predominant reasons for entering floodwater were identified, including undertaking a recreational activity; attempting to reach a destination; retrieving property, livestock, or pets; undertaking employment duties; and rescuing or assisting with evacuation. Two primary influences on entering floodwater were found, namely risk perception (i.e., being unaware of or underestimating the risk from flooding) and social influences (i.e., being influenced by others). Demographics and environmental and temporal factors also played a part in decision-making about whether to enter floodwater or not. Emergency managers should take account of such factors when devising future public education strategies. Further research, including comparisons with current theoretical models, could help identify additional influences on decision-making for floodwater entry.

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