Commuter Adaptation in Response to Hurricane Sandy's Damage

Eleftheria Kontou, Pamela Murray-Tuite, Kris Wernstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using survey data from nearly 400 commuters, this paper identifies factors associated with commuter changes after Hurricane Sandy. Adaptations included changing transportation modes, routes, and/or departure times (earlier or later), and canceling trips. Changes were not mutually exclusive and each was considered separately in multivariable binary logit models. Transit commuters were more likely to change modes, cancel the trip, and depart earlier. Women were less likely to change modes or depart later. More children increased the probability of canceling the commute. Telecommuting increased the probability of canceling the trip and decreased that of leaving earlier. Daycare/school closures increased the probability of changing routes. Disaster-recovery implications include (1) some transit users may switch modes, but transit dependents may have to cancel their commutes, which could affect employment, (2) working parents are constrained by child responsibilities and school/childcare recovery, (3) transportation providers should prepare for earlier departures due to delays/crowding, and (4) telecommuting can mitigate delays, but it relies on power and communications, emphasizing the role of multiple infrastructures in community resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04016010
JournalNatural Hazards Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • Commuters
  • Disruption
  • Hurricane
  • Hurricane Sandy
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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