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Regional Hazard Indicators


Participants: Richard Bernknopf, Paul Amos

Loma Prieta Earthquake, CAOne of the biggest impacts of a disaster is the effect it can have on community and regional housing and the ability for people, communities, and regions to recover from the damages. Policy decisions involving investments in loss reduction measures and response and recovery are best informed by the integration of scientific and socioeconomic information. Natural scientists develop hazard scenarios for stakeholders and emergency officials to assess the impacts of a particular disaster outcome. Social scientists have found that housing losses and recovery affect individuals in lower socioeconomic status disproportionately. Using an earthquake scenario for southern California and U.S. Census income data, a regional hazard concentration curve and index has been constructed to analyze whether and what type of landscape inequality could arise following the simulated disaster. The concentration curves for all housing and for multi-family and mobile home housing units were negative and statistically significant suggesting a concentration of damages in census tracts with large numbers of residents in lower income groups. Although the analysis is a scenario based on simulation, the results and potential outcomes are consistent with recent disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. The concentration index is a measure that can be coupled with spatially explicit damage scenarios to help target cost effective building mitigation by weighting implementation toward at-risk populations with spatially explicit models of damages.
Copyright 2012