LEWI Research

Risk Perception, Preparedness, Behavioural Responses to Natural Disasters: A Case Study of Rooftop Dwellers in Hong Kong  

Dr Kaxton SIU

This proposed research is part of a larger project that aims to explore Hong Kong residents' risk perception, preparedness and responses to natural disasters. This particular study focuses on the most vulnerable housing group susceptible to natural disasters: rooftop dwellers. While different types of safety problems have persistently plagued rooftop dwellers and the Hong Kong government has been making efforts to rehouse them, there is as yet no relevant disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy to prepare rooftop dwellers for natural disasters, e.g., heavy storms and typhoons. Nor are there any response and mitigation policies for the dwellers during and after disasters.


This study will utilize census materials and feature a survey of 500 representative subjects and in-depth interviews with 15 respondents. The findings will contribute to sensitizing existing literature on the global framework of natural disaster risk reduction in the context of highly urbanized societies and enable the Hong Kong government to identify the needs of the dwellers to formulate future DRR and social policies.


Dr Kaxton Siu

  • Department of Applied Social Sciences
  • Departmental General Research Fund (2015-16)
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


HK$99,200 (US$12,718)