Officials’ and residents’ perceptions of risk can drive reactions
When a hurricane or other violent storm blows through a community, one of the first pictures you’re likely to see is a fallen tree. But downed trees and limbs aren’t just a byproduct of storms—they are an everyday occurrence that can often be avoided with the right efforts.
According to a new study by researchers at the University of Georgia, the perceptions residents have about these risks can greatly influence a community’s response. As a result, there’s often a gap between perception and reality that puts large parts of communities at risk.
Published in the journal Land, the study looks at the intersection of urban forest risk management and how residents view the risks posed by community trees. By revealing a patchwork of responses that don’t always correspond with a community’s resources or staffing, it shows the gap between how residents identify risk and what’s needed to avoid it in the first place.
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