Self-evacuation archetypes in Australian bushfire
Australian householders respond to bushfire in diverse and complex ways according to their circumstances and characteristics. They tend not to simply make a binary decision to evacuate from or remain at their property, or simply to 'wait and see' what happens before they decide. Seven self-evacuation archetypes displaying universally recognisable, fundamentally human characteristics were identified through cluster and discriminant function analysis of data from 457 householders who had recently experienced a bushfire. These seven archetypes characterise the diverse attitudes and behaviour of typical groupings of householders faced with making a protective decision during a bushfire. The archetypes comprise those who deny a threat exists (Threat Denier), who do not believe that they are responsible for themselves (Responsibility Denier) or are unable to take responsibility for their safe evacuation (Dependent Evacuator). They include those who are determined to safely evacuate (Considered Evacuator), those who look to advice and guidance from their community (Community Guided) and those who make considerable efforts to remain but are concerned they lack the experience to do so successfully (Worried Waverers). Some, who are experienced with bushfire, self-reliant and well prepared are committed to remaining (Experienced Independents) but in unfavourable circumstances may evacuate. Bushfire safety policy and programs should not treat these householders as simply stereotypical 'evacuators' or 'remainers' but accommodate the diversity of these archetypes to effectively meet their educational and engagement needs.