Culture and disaster risk management - citizens’ reactions and opinions during Citizen Summit in Utrecht, Netherlands

Sandra Appleby-Arnold, Noellie Brockdorff

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The analyses and results in this document are based on the data collected during the sixth Citizen Summit held in Utrecht, the Netherlands on May 12th, 2018. Like the previous five Citizen Summits held in Romania, Malta, Italy, Germany, and Portugal, this Citizen Summit was designed as a one-day event combining public information with feedback gathering through different methods of data collection. In the morning session, the event started with a presentation of the CARISMAND project and its main goals and concepts, and the planned CARISMAND Toolkit functionalities. Then, overall 27 questions with pre-defined answer options were posed to the audience and responses collected via an audience response system. As in the previous Citizen Summits, all questions in this part of the event aimed to explore citizens’ attitudes, perceptions, and intended behaviours related to disaster risks. Comparing and contrasting the respective results of all six Citizen Summits in the final synthesised analysis (Deliverable D5.9) will aim to provide additional insight into cultural factors that may affect disaster-related preparedness and response. Between these questions, additional presentations were held that informed the audience about state-of-the-art disaster preparedness and response topics (e.g., large-scale disaster scenario exercises, use of social media, and mobile phone apps). Furthermore, this last round of Citizen Summits was organised and specifically designed to discuss and collect feedback on recommendations for citizens, which have all been formulated on the basis of Work Packages 2-10 results and in coordination with the Work Package 11 brief. These Toolkit recommendations are envisaged to form one of the core elements of the Work Package 9 CARISMAND Toolkit. Additionally, following the cyclical design of CARISMAND events (and wherever meaningful and possible), they “mirror” the respective recommendations for practitioners, which were discussed in the last (third) CARISMAND Stakeholder Assembly held in Lisbon in February 2018, and they are structured in two, main “sets”: A. Developing a personal “culture of preparedness” B. Taking part in disaster preparedness and response activities. These two sets of recommendations were also presented in detail during the morning session to the participating citizens. In the afternoon session, small moderated group discussions of approximately 2 hours’ duration were held, which aimed to gather the citizens’ direct feedback on the two sets of Toolkit recommendations presented in the morning, following a detailed discussion guideline. For a detailed overview of all questions asked and topics discussed, please see Appendix A. Overall, 89 citizens participated in the Netherlands’ event. The total sample shows a relatively even gender and age distribution, which is unsurprising given the target quotas that were requested from the recruiting local market research agency. The lower number of senior citizens aged 65 and above was expected and reflects mobility issues. Participants were asked about three key aspects of experience of disasters and disaster risk perception that could potentially have an impact on how other questions were answered. Almost three out of five respondents (58.1%) indicated that they, or a close friend or family member, have experienced a disaster, whereas only one out of five (20.7%) felt that they are currently living in an area that is specifically prone to disasters, but 44.2% answered that they know other people in the area where they live who they think are particularly vulnerable or exposed to disasters. Slight gender- and age-related differences in the responses to these questions were found to be not statistically significant (p>=.05). The rest of this report is structured in five main sections: After this introduction, the second section will provide an overview of the different methods applied. The third section, based on the quantitative data collected via the audience response system, presents the results from questions on general disaster risk perceptions, disaster preparedness, and behaviours in disaster situations with a particular focus on the use of mobile phone apps and social media. In the fourth section, based on the qualitative data collected in the ten discussion groups, the analyses will provide detailed insight into the participants’ feedback on the two sets of recommendations for citizens presented in the morning session. The final section compares and contrasts the results from sections 3 and 4, draws conclusions, and presents proposed changes and amendments to the Work Package 9 Toolkit recommendations based on the participating citizens’ suggestions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • emergency management
  • disaster relief
  • public opinion


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