The present research investigated the perception of the fl ood threat and willingness of inhabitants of regions experiencing regular severe floods to take preventive actions.
Residents of two type of regions were compared: those living in a region protected by flood levees vs. residents living unprotected regions. Inhabitants of the area protected by the levees resulting in the rare experience of fl ood, perceived probability of flood as lower and reported higher willingness to take preventive actions than inhabitants of the area unprotected by levees. Similarly as in many previous studies personal experience and social norms turned out to be crucial factors in determining self-protective behavior. On the other hand unlike in other studies, we found no relationship between decision makers’ willingness to take preventive actions and factors related to threat appraisal, such as the
perceived magnitude of loss and the perceived probability of damage. Finally, we found that the impact of a given factor on willingness to protect oneself against a hazard may depend on the kind of measure of the protective behavior.