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Kaluarachchi, Y., 2013.

The awareness of two stakeholders and the resilience of their built assets to extreme weather events in England

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment
Volume/Issue:4 (3)
Pagination:pp. 297-316

Purpose: The purpose this paper is to examine how aware and prepared the elderly and a number of related housing associations (HAs) are of extreme weather events and the impact on their built assets as a result of climate change. It investigates how extreme weather and associated risks are perceived and the measures taken to protect the assets. Design/methodology/approach: Desk research and two questionnaire surveys were conducted to collect data and information in relation to the awareness of extreme weather events and how built assets are adapted as a response. Survey results were tabulated and analysed using qualitative coding techniques and examined to identify relationships and patterns across different criteria in relation to awareness and built form adaptation to extreme weather events. Findings: The surveys illustrate that awareness is high but the actions carried out as adaptations do not significantly reduce risks. Lack of personalisation of the risk and the resulting avoidance behaviour seems to prevent any considerable actions being taken. Thus, the elderly seem to accept basic energy saving measures as extreme weather adaptations rather than seek substantial actions that minimise risk to their houses. The results highlight the need to identify different design, construction and management solutions to improve resilience of different dwelling types to different economic sectors and different community groups. Research limitations/implications: The HA survey sample is too small to derive general conclusions but illustrates the varying positions of different organisations. Future research will further the survey with a larger sample and extend to local authorities (LAs). Practical implications: The findings provide valuable information and insights to all related stakeholders in formulating programmes in securing built assets in extreme weather events. Social implications: Provide an understanding of the awareness and the preparedness of a vulnerable group, the elderly, and their dwellings to extreme weather events. Originality/value: While the government hold consultations and dissemination events at national and regional levels, individual community groups and local agencies who are directly involved in providing services are not yet engaged in this dialogue. These two surveys made an attempt to gauge the awareness and the preparedness of the respondents of two such segments, in adapting their homes and built assets as a response to extreme weather associated risks. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.