The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Foreignness as a constraint on learning: the impact of migrants on disaster resilience in small islands

Tompkins, Emma L., Hurston, Lisa-Ann and Poortinga, Wouter (2009) Foreignness as a constraint on learning: the impact of migrants on disaster resilience in small islands Environmental Hazards, 8, (4), pp. 263-277. (doi:10.3763/ehaz.2009.0018).

Record type: Article


Knowledge about natural hazard management has increased significantly since Gilbert White's seminal research in 1945, yet people are still badly affected by natural hazards. A key question remains in natural hazards research: why, when all the conditions for effective disaster risk reduction are in place, do some people not take action to reduce their risk of harm? Through a questionnaire-based study we investigated the motivating factors that led residents of the Cayman Islands to prepare for annual tropical cyclones (hurricanes). Factors that increase the likelihood of individuals preparing for hurricanes are: previous experience of major storms, having linking networks and ties, having a child under the age of 15 in the home, and residency status - expatriate residents are less likely to prepare. Factors that appear to prevent adaptive behaviour include: living close to or adjacent to the coast, recent migration to the islands, and living in rented accommodation. The findings of the survey confirm that even within societies that are well prepared for tropical cyclones, there are still sub-groups who do not engage with the preparedness process. In the case of the Cayman Islands, new migrants are the most vulnerable to tropical cyclones as they tend to fall into the demographic groups least likely to prepare for cyclones, live in locations with high levels of exposure to cyclone impacts, and interact mostly with other expatriates with no previous experience of cyclone impacts. As climate change promises to bring an increasing intensity of tropical cyclones, these findings have relevance for all islands which draw on migrant workers to support economic growth.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 December 2009
Keywords: caribbean, climate change, expatriates, hurricane, learning, migrants, migration, motivation, networks, principal component analysis, tropical cyclone
Organisations: Global Env Change & Earth Observation


Local EPrints ID: 200229
ISSN: 1747-7891
PURE UUID: 4d05b55d-eed5-4f90-8685-2f99eec5cbf9

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Oct 2011 09:30
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:14

Export record



Author: Lisa-Ann Hurston
Author: Wouter Poortinga

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.