To achieve community resilience and mitigate the consequences of natural hazards, community officials must balance competing priorities for local resources and funding. Besides the challenge of dealing with multiple competing priorities, community officials face another challenge: low risk awareness of natural hazards by the public and other stakeholders. Considering that virtual reality (VR) has been used to enhance learning and to change attitudes and behaviors, animating natural hazards in VR has the potential to enhance stakeholders’ (e.g., the public, local/state/federal governments, insurance agencies, and property owners) risk awareness. Informed stakeholders make better decisions related to protective action. Therefore, we propose using VR to create a sense of presence and immersion that can provide stakeholders with hazard exposure, demonstrate a hazard’s personalized consequences, and simulate the consequences of protective action, which, in turn, can influence attitudes and behavioral intentions of the general public to take protective action. Researchers could also apply VR to other hazardous or life-threatening situations and use interdisciplinary research to identify best methods to develop realistic and credible VR that all citizens can access to help mitigate hazards and enhance community resilience.
Stone, N. J.,
Nah, F. F.,
Hatch, F. E.,
Schoor, G. M.,
Virtual Reality for Hazard Mitigation and Community Resilience: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration with Community Engagement to Enhance Risk Awareness.
AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 13(2), 130-144.
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