A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
A systematic review of human behaviour in and around floodwater (2020)

Hamilton, K., Demant, D., Peden, A. E., & Hagger, M. S. (2020). A systematic review of human behaviour in and around floodwater. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 47, Article 101561. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101561

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Hamilton, Kyra; Demant, Daniel; Peden, Amy E.; Hagger, Martin S.

Journal or series: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

eISSN: 2212-4209

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 47

Article number: 101561

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101561

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Web address of parallel published publication (pre-print): https://psyarxiv.com/cqdtz/


Flooding can have a major impact on people's safety and livelihood. Understanding people's flood-related behaviours may assist in the development of more effective strategies aimed at lessening the impact of floods including mortality and morbidity. This systematic review examined peer-reviewed literature published from January-1989 to April-2019 on human behaviour in and around floodwater to identify behaviour patterns as well as protective and risk factors. We extracted three main themes from a thematic analysis of included studies (N = 54): activities and risk-taking behaviours (n = 24); loss reduction, knowledge, and warnings (n = 37); and diet and hygiene (n = 4). This review had limitations which prevented definitive conclusions being made. What does seem apparent is the limited knowledge of the social psychological mechanisms that guide behavioural responses in a flood event. Further exploration of methods to improve preparedness, increase the likelihood of evacuation, and reduce ‘risky’ behaviour during floods is needed. Future studies should prioritise addressing these gaps to enhance the evidence-base for reducing the impact of floods including flood-related mortality and morbidity.

Keywords: natural disasters; floods; behavioural patterns; risk-taking behaviour; drowning

Free keywords: systematic review; flood; behaviour; non-fatal drowning

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 21:33