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Asgary, A and Azimi, N (2019) Choice of emergency shelter: valuing key attributes of emergency shelters. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 10(02–03), 130–50.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Emergency shelter; Choice experiment method; Emergency rest centre; Greater Toronto Area; Reception centre; Shelter planning;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 1759-5908
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-10-2018-0044
  • Abstract:
    The purpose of this study is to examine people’s preferences for some of the key attributes of emergency shelters, including type, privacy level, location, spatial arrangement and pet-friendliness. Design/methodology/approach Choice experiment (CE) method was used in this study. A standard CE questionnaire was designed and completed by a sample of 293 residents of the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario (Canada), during the winter of 2015. Findings When using publicly provided shelters, people prefer to stay in hotels, places of worship and then community shelters, in that order. These findings correspond to the values that they place for various attributes through the CE survey. Findings show that responders place the highest values for emergency shelters that provide more privacy, located close to their home, and are pet friendly. Type of shelter and the “arrangement” attributes were not found to be as important and valuable. Research limitations/implications This study uses a convenient sampling method as such may not fully represent the study population. Practical implications Emergency shelter provision by local, regional and national governments cost significant amount of money and thus it is important that the society get the maximum benefit from it. This will be possible when users’ preferences are considered in planning, design, and operation of emergency shelters. The findings enable emergency managers to perform cost-benefit analysis an increase the efficiency of emergency shelters. Originality/value While previous studies have examined emergency-shelter types, characteristics and user-satisfaction levels, this is a novel study because it uses a choice experiment method to extract monetary values for key emergency-shelter attributes.