Background: Misunderstanding of disaster hinders people from devoting enough attention to disaster preparedness programs. Flood is one of the main natural hazards in Iran.
Objectives: The present study aimed to determine flood risk perception among residents of a flood-prone area in Iran in 2021.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 201 inhabitants of three villages along the Hesar-Golestan River in northeast Iran. A researcher-made questionnaire was used to assess their flood risk perception and opinions about the causes of the flood. Flood risk perception was assessed using ten questions with a 5-point Likert scale. Risk perception was calculated at three levels: low (scores 10 to 23), medium (scores 24 to 37), and high (scores 38 to 50). Multi-stage sampling technique was used for sampling.
Results: The majority of participants (81%) had a moderate risk perception. The mean risk perception score was 30±5, which indicates a moderate risk perception. According to the participants, the three main causes of floods were environmental degradation and soil erosion, unplanned development and construction in flood-prone areas, and heavy seasonal rainfall, respectively. There was a significant relationship between gender and age with some opinions about the causes of floods.
Conclusion: The risk perception of participants was at a moderate level. Low or moderate flood risk perception can lead to insufficient attention, inaction, or insufficient efforts to reduce the risk and increase preparedness for floods. Taking measures such as educating people about the causes and consequences of floods using appropriate and effective methods can help to manage disasters better.
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