This study characterized risk factors for household evacuation failure. A random digit dial telephone survey was conducted of 397 households in Yuba County, California, in July 1997, 6 months after residents had been under evacuation notice due to flooding. Case households failed to evacuate, whereas control households evacuated. The cumulative incidence of household evacuation failure was 19.4%. Fewer households with children (25.8%) failed to evacuate than households without children (45.9%, p < 0.01). More households with pets (20.9%) than households without pets failed to evacuate (16.3%, p = 0.11). With multivariate logistic regression, the risk of household evacuation failure was lower in households with children (odds ratio = 0.4, 95% confidence interval: 0.2, 0.8) compared with households without children. The risk of household evacuation failure increased in pet-owning households without children (odds ratio = 1.3, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 1.5) compared with pet-owning households with children; the more pets a household owned, the higher the risk of household evacuation failure was. Impediments to pet evacuation, including owning multiple pets, owning outdoor dogs, or not having a cat carrier, explained why many households that owned pets failed to evacuate. Predisaster planning should place a high priority on facilitating pet evacuation through predisaster education of pet owners and emergency management personnel.
- Natural disasters
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