Publication Details

Title: Asleep at the switch and unsuspecting victims: Exploring flood risk awareness and adaptive capacity in an urban watershed in Puerto Rico

Author(s): Santiago-Bartolomei. R; Santiago, L.E; Melendez-Ackerman, E.

Year: 2015

Source: Plerus 25, 22.

Abstract: Flood-prone communities are especially susceptible to increasing flooding frequency due to climate change. Adaptive capacity is one of the main components in determining vulnerability of a susceptible community. But in order to implement efforts that might increase adaptive capacity, awareness and knowledge of objective risk to natural hazards are essential. Therefore, local knowledge and awareness, as well as institutional provision of information, are all fundamental elements in this matter. This study provides some insight on the drivers and degree of risk knowledge and awareness that flood-prone communities possess in the Río Piedras watershed, an urban watershed in San Juan Puerto Rico. Another objective is to determine the level of efficiency with which institutions and organizations are conveying information on flood risk to the exposed communities. To identify trends in awareness among households, socio-economic characteristics are considered in order to explore awareness gaps and inequities in access to information. [Keywords: Adaptive capacity, risk awareness, flooding, climate change, Puerto Rico].

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