Introduction Bangladesh is highly vulnerable country to natural disasters due to geographical location, flat and low-lying landscape, high population density, poverty, illiteracy and lack of institutional setup. Most of the disasters happen in southern part of the country and few studies discuss on natural disasters and however limited knowledge found on aquatic disasters practices. Aim: To explore current practices during disaster among coastal communities who are the most affected.
Method A qualitative study was conducted in three sub-districts of Barguna and Patuakhali during October to November 2016. 12 In-depth Interviews (IDIs) and 4 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted in selected areas. The participants were disaster experienced people, community leaders and community disaster volunteers. Data were organized through Nvivo-11 and thematic analysis took place for analyzing the qualitative data.
Result Community people did not move to safe places unless water reached up to household because of securing household assets especially livestock. Not all community members own TV or radio and during adverse weather power were often lost. Microphone announcement in village setting were considered to be the most effective method to warn community during disasters. People have some traditional practices during disasters, for example, fasten their houses with trees next to, and untie domestic animals. The local community used plastic drums, bamboos, banana trees and fishing net floaters as personal floating devices during disasters.
Conclusion and policy implications Coastal area communities had lack of awareness in adverse weather signal and microphone announcement did not reach all the population during disaster. Used floating devices during disasters were not safe for them. Interventions on disaster awareness and preparedness for coastal areas are very crucial.
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