2018 Volume 6 Issue 4 Pages 128-147
Due to global climate change, rainfall patterns have become more centralized and are causing serious damage more frequently and heavily. After the experiences of typhoons in Taiwan, the importance of risk communication with residents, especially in the vulnerable river watershed area, has become the main issue of disaster prevention policy; however, this effort is frustrated by the lack of related academic research. This study aims to analyse key factors in risk communication mechanisms and how they influence the decision-making of adaptive behaviours. Firstly, this study builds a conceptual framework of the risk communication process to determine how adaptive behaviours are triggered and guided by risk communication. Questionnaires based on this framework were sent to households in the Kaoping River watershed area to verify its utility using a structural equation model (SEM). Based on the framework, an empirical analysis was performed to analyse the key factors influencing decision-making of adaptive behaviours using multinomial logistic regression. The results show that adaptive behaviours are affected by internal awareness of disaster and by risk communication mechanisms and the external environment. The crucial communication channels through family, friends, neighbours and local governments are highly effective. The key factors influencing decision-making of adaptive behaviours are awareness of disaster and adaptive behaviours. People with higher awareness of disaster and adaptive behaviours are more likely to have positive adaptive behaviours. Furthermore, due to the interaction of environments, risk communication patterns and socioeconomic attributes, people from different communities have different adaptive behaviours. Based on the empirical results, some risk communication measures are proposed to improve disaster-prevention strategies.