European conference on risk perception

Behaviour, management and response

13 - 14 March 2019

The actual behaviour of individuals and government entities before, during, and immediately after a disaster can dramatically affect the impact, vulnerability, recovery time and resilience. Despite decades of research on disaster risk and perception, studies on actual damages and responses after disasters, decision-making tools, and actionable knowledge of the actual behaviour of the populations are still a challenge. Whilst risk perception, evacuation behaviour, social vulnerability, coping strategies, recovery time, public involvement, management strategies, as well as resilience, are critical factors, they are too often overlooked because linking risk perception and actual behaviour remains a major challenge. Existing big data, social media and social media for emergency management (SMEM) analyses are still immature in understanding the gap between risk perception and response behaviour. Uncertainty derives from lack of information, lack of trust, alternatives, previous experience, but also segregation, oppression, etc.

Innovations in risk, vulnerability, recovery and resilience assessments that integrate perception, segregation and behavioural adaptation dynamics may lead to more accurate characterization of risks and improved evaluation of the effectiveness of risk communication and management strategies and investments. Improved decision-making in uncertainty conditions, especially in extreme crisis situations, may help citizens to better decide about whether to stay or evacuate, while improving risk communication, insurance and management, and this helps to save lives.

This is a field where evacuation planning and exercise, social vulnerability and resilience, segregation and exclusion, civil protection, psychology, the insurance industry, legal and institutional background, land use and governance, risk communication, emergency management, public involvement, decision making, basic research on fear factors, discrimination and human behaviour must be thought together. Such multidisciplinary approaches and comparative studies can inform decision making under uncertainty, risk and emergency management, as well as policy development.

This European conference is addressing risk perception, evacuation, response, and adaptation behaviour with 35 researchers, experts and practitionners from 14 countries. It aims to build a multidisciplinary panoramic European view.


Download the conference summary


How to find us



Samuel Rufat, University of Cergy-Pontoise, Paris, France

Alexander Fekete, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany

Thomas Hartmann, Wageningen University, Netherlands


With the support of the COST LAND4FLOODInstitut Universitaire de FranceMinistry for the Ecological and Inclusive TransitionInstitute for Advanced Studies – IAS University of Cergy-PontoiseUCP FondationMobile Lives ForumLabEx DynamiTe



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