Poster Session Abstracts
Building Resilience to Disaster: Learning from the Experience of Vermont's Mobile Home Parks in Tropical Storm Irene
Flooding from Tropical Storm Irene devastated the state of Vermont on August 28, 2011, exposing the vulnerabilities of Vermont's mobile home parks. Nineteen parks were damaged and over one hundred homes were destroyed.
Prior to Irene, little analysis had be done to understand the relationship between this unique affordable housing stock and flood risk, despite anecdotal evidence that parks were historically sited in areas prone to flooding. A spatial overlay analysis revealed that mobile homes in Vermont's land-lease parks were more vulnerable to flooding than mobile homes on private land, multi-family homes, and single-family homes. Twenty-two percent of the state's 246 parks were found to have at least one lot at risk of flooding.
Socio-economic characteristics of park households further compound their vulnerability to disasters. A survey of 363 residents found that 73.5 percent of park households are low income, very low income, or extremely low income, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines. The survey found the number of park households having elderly residents to be significantly higher in parks compared to households statewide.
Increasing the resilience of Vermont's park communities requires addressing both the physical and social vulnerabilities. This research has led to changes in the state's hazard mitigation plan, the development of new legislation, and has heightened awareness of the potential to reduce exposure to risk for this unique housing stock through community-based emergency planning.
Citizen Empowerment in Volcano Monitoring, Communication and Decision Making at Tungurahua Volcano, Ecuador
Trained citizen volunteers called vigías have worked to help monitor and communicate warnings about Tungurahua volcano, in Ecuador, since the volcano reawoke in 1999. The network, organized by the scientists of Ecuador's Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (Geophysical Institute) and the personnel from the Secretaría Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos (Risk Management, initially the Civil Defense), has grown to more than 20 observers living around the volcano who communicate regularly via handheld two-way radios.
Interviews with participants conducted in 2010 indicate that the network enables direct communication between communities and authorities; engenders trust in scientists and emergency response personnel; builds community; and empowers communities to make decisions in times of crisis.
Christine Bevc, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Matt Simon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tanya Montoya, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jennifer Horney, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Institutional Facilitators and Barriers to Local Public Health Preparedness Planning for Vulnerable and At-Risk Populations
The North Carolina Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center recently introduced the Vulnerable and At-Risk Populations Resource Guide to aid local health departments in planning for vulnerable and at-risk populations. Since January 2012, 73 percent (62 of 85) of local health departments in North Carolina accessed the guide (as of April 1, 2013). It has also been accessed by more than 60 departments outside North Carolina, representing 19 states.
In addition to providing custom reports to local health departments, this work seeks to identify institutional facilitators and barriers to preparedness planning for vulnerable and at-risk populations. Researchers conducted a multi-level and mixed-methods evaluation study over an 18-month period, including surveys, focus groups, interviews, and secondary data, to assess the effectiveness of planning across multiple jurisdictions—local, regional, and state. Data collected identified key internal and external barriers and concerns associated with planning for at-risk populations, including challenges to conducting assessments and lack of resources.
Results also identified barriers within institutional culture and disconnects between planning priorities and population densities. Findings support a more in-depth understanding of the public institutions and lack of disaster preparedness that contribute to the unsafe conditions and dynamic pressures that contribute to the progression of vulnerability under Blaikie et al'sPressure and Release Model. This research also directly contributes to ongoing practice-based efforts to improve response services and address public health preparedness planning and training as they relate to vulnerable and at-risk populations.
Analyzing a Coastal Community's Resilience to Future Flooding: A Case Study of Seattle, Washington
Pacific Northwest coastal communities are exposed to a variety of hazards, including flooding caused by coastal storms and runoff from inland precipitation. Areas susceptible to flooding in coastal communities with gravity fed stormwater systems may be especially vulnerable to sea-level rise due to its impact on these systems depositing their flow into the ocean.
Single-event volumes of precipitation are expected to increase and further stress communities from changes in local and global climate. Sea level around Seattle is estimated to rise between 0.10 meters and 1.43 meters by 2100. This sea-level rise will likely be coupled with a 1 to 2 percent increase in annual precipitation.
This study investigated how projected changes in Seattle's rising sea level and precipitation events influence the city's resilience to flooding. Seattle's current exposure to flooding was compared to future exposure by modeling current exposure and the capacity of Seattle to adapt to changes in climate. Areas of lowest resilience were determined using a GIS overlay of Seattle's exposure to flooding and resilience and sensitivity indices.
The resilience and sensitivity analysis was conducted using a resilience framework developed at the University of Idaho. The city's hazard mitigation and long-term comprehensive plans were examined to determine what mitigation or adaptation measures Seattle plans to take to increase its resilience to these geophysical events.
Results indicate that if local climate change predictions are realized, Seattle currently lacks the capacity to effectively cope with hazards relating to increased sea levels and runoff from inland precipitation thus increasing community vulnerability to flooding.
Emergency Management Decision Making Process: To Evacuate or Shelter in Place
Healthcare facilities vary substantially in the United States. Healthcare facilities are typed and classified in many ways, which include: inpatient and outpatient care; poly trauma facilities; mental health facilities; urgent care facilities, and class 1A facilities.
Each type of accrediting healthcare organization is required to have a plan to safely evacuate their facility. There are two types of evacuations for healthcare facilities, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal evacuation is the movement of staff members and patients out of imminent danger beyond a fire barrier on the same floor. Vertical evacuation is the movement of staff and patients from one floor to the next out of imminent danger and possibly outside of the existing building.
Evacuating ambulatory or low acuity care patients who require minimal care from a hospital is equivalent to evacuating a business occupancy or school. The consequences of the evacuation are relatively minor. In contrast, the decision to evacuate high acuity critical care patients or unstable patients can be difficult and challenging, with significant consequences.
The decision to evacuate a hospital is one of the most difficult decisions a hospital director or chief executive officer will ever make. Therefore, it is recommended for each healthcare facility to have in place in advance a decision making process to guide their decisions to evacuate their facility or to shelter in place.
Disaster Mental Health Response: Lessons Learned from a Case Study of the 1974 Xenia Tornadoes
Typically, disaster mental health services are offered immediately following disasters, often through the one-year anniversary of the event. However, the literature demonstrates that these services become most relevant later during the long-term recovery phase of the disaster while people are reassembling their daily routines and resources.
This case study focuses on Xenia, Ohio, a community that experienced the brunt of a significant storm system that caused 148 tornadoes across 12 states on April 3, 1974. Xenia was the most significantly impacted community suffering 33 deaths, 15 of which included people 21 years old or younger, over 1,000 injuries, and damages totaling between $70 million to $90 million. Officials estimate that approximately one-fifth of the buildings in the city were destroyed, including half of the schools and local businesses. Residential housing was also devastated with more than 1,000 homes destroyed, 500 with major damage, and 1,500 with minor damage.
The community of Xenia, Ohio, offers a unique opportunity to explore disaster mental health service provision because of the innovative approach the Greene-Clinton County Mental Health and Retardation Board utilized following the devastation their community sustained. Using archival data from the Disaster Research Center E.L. Quarantelli Resource Collection at the University of Delaware, we assembled a case study narrative focusing on the mental health response to the storms.
Learning from the experience of Xenia in providing disaster mental health services, we recommend improvements to federal disaster mental health policy. This case study will be used to test a predictive model of community resilience currently under development.
Climate Change, Growth, and Regional Integration: Lessons for Municipal and Industrial Water Providers
Two forces are converging on the American West, and on Colorado's Front Range especially, that make it increasingly difficult for municipal and industrial water providers provide safe and reliable supplies of water: (1) population growth and the presumed accompanying increase in demand; and (2) uncertainties over the physical and legal availability of water stemming from climate change.
Multiple approaches can be used to mitigate the impacts of and adapt to these conflating forces, a combination of which are often applied by individual utilities in Colorado. However, projects are typically designed and implemented as discrete efforts across a mosaic of jurisdictional boundaries. This has the potential result in suboptimal system performance and inequitable social and ecological impacts.
Through a case study analysis of M&I water provider institutions in Nevada, California, and Colorado, this research investigates how the institutional fragmentation observed on the Front Range may pose challenges for effective adaptation to climate change, climate variability, and the region's ongoing population growth.
Crucially, adaptation will require moving water through a network to locations of high demand. If providers are not sufficiently integrated, this could significantly increase costs of provision and allocation. Questions of resilience and institutional design are addressed, with evidence from cases and arguments from theory supporting cooperation and mutualism as effective adaptation strategies. Collective action emerges as a crucial component of resilience, while diversity emerges as a crucial component of adaptability.
Protective-Action Triggers: Modeling and Analysis
This poster reviews ongoing efforts in modeling a novel decision aid that emergency managers use to formulate and recommend protective actions for the public in the face of an environmental threat (e.g., wildfire).
Three key questions need to be addressed in this context: (1) who should take action; (2) what is the best action; and 3) when should this action occur?
As straightforward as these questions may seem, the stakes can be extremely high. The questions are frequently addressed under time pressure and uncertainty. The focus of this research is protective-action triggers, which combine a condition (e.g., time, attribute threshold, event) with a recommended protective action (e.g., evacuate, shelter-in-place, refuge shelter) for a threatened sub-population, such that the action is recommended if the condition occurs.
A current challenge is modeling triggers, which requires coupling a physical model to represent the characteristics and progress of an environmental threat with one to represent the human dimensions and response of an affected community. The physical model can be used to answer the question of how much time is available before the community is likely to be adversely impacted, and the human response model can be either an optimization model to recommend a "best" protective action or a simulation model to represent the likely response of a community under assumptions regarding the warning context (e.g. departure rate, vehicle use, traffic flow).
This poster reviews modeling and analysis efforts at the Center for Natural and Technological Hazards at the University of Utah designed to improve our understanding and representation of the dynamic facets of protective-action triggers.
Spatial Patterns of Post-Wildfire Neighborhood Recovery: A Case Study from the Waldo Canyon Fire (Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2012)
Until recently, the recovery phase of the emergency management cycle has received relatively little attention from the natural hazards research community in comparison to the phases of planning, mitigation, and response. However, in the prolonged aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, studies on recovery have become more common as evidence from this disaster suggests that the process is spatially uneven and temporally dynamic, operating at finer scales than previously assumed.
The heterogeneous patterns of recovery and the implications for the well-being of people and places are especially visible at the neighborhood scale. With growing empirical evidence from post-disaster environments such as New Orleans and Joplin, Missouri, studies on neighborhood recovery are becoming a useful endeavor through which to inform emergency management and city planning policies related to what happens after a disaster, why these outcomes matter, and how to systematically plan for post-disaster recovery.
Despite progress made on understanding neighborhood recovery, these studies have focused primarily on post-hurricane and post-tornado environments. In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of neighborhood post-disaster recovery, other events (e.g., wildfires) must be included. However, wildfires are also notably underrepresented in natural hazards research. This project addresses both the understudied process (neighborhood recovery) and the understudied event (wildfire). It draws attention to the need for post-wildfire neighborhood recovery studies, particularly in order to understand the implications for health outcomes of impacted residents.
Claudia Der-Martirosian, Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center
Tara Strine, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mangwi Atia, Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center
Karen Chu, Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center
Michael Mitchell, Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center
Aram Dobalian, University of California, Los Angeles
General Household Emergency Preparedness: A Comparison between Veterans and Non-Veterans
U.S. armed forces veterans are at particular risk during public health emergencies because they are more likely than the general population to have multiple health conditions.
Methods: This study compares general levels of household emergency preparedness (a three-day supply of food, water, and prescription medications, a battery-operated radio and flashlight, a written evacuation plan, and willingness to leave during a mandatory evacuation) between veterans and non-veterans using 2006 through 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data.
Results: The majority of veterans and non-veteran households had a three-day supply of food (88 percent vs. 82 percent, respectively) and prescription medications (95 percent vs. 89 percent), access to a working battery-operated radio (82 percent vs. 77 percent) and flashlight (97 percent vs. 95 percent), and were willing to leave the community during a mandatory evacuation (91 percent vs. 96 percent). These populations were far less likely to have a three-day supply of water (61 percent vs. 52 percent) and a written evacuation plan (24 percent vs. 21 percent).
After adjusting for various sociodemographic covariates, general health status, and disability status, households with veterans were significantly more likely than households without veterans to have a three-day supplies of food, water, and prescription medications, and a written evacuation plan. They were less likely to indicate that they would leave during a mandatory evacuation. Both groups were equally likely to have a working battery-operated radio and flashlight.
Conclusion: In general, veteran households appear to be better prepared for emergencies than non-veteran households. Further research is needed to determine potential causal links.
Getting Back On the Road: Exercise Handbook for Transit and Transportation Agencies
Open and safe roads, bridges, and tunnels are the key to disaster response. Working transit systems are essential elements in evacuation, first responder movement, and economic recovery. Personnel of the transit and transportation sector provide Federal Emergency Management Agency's ESF-1 activities. Transit and transportation personnel must be trained to support emergency management and homeland security response, and must have practiced their roles through exercises.
While academic works on transportation sector emergency planning are available, there is no practical exercise handbook for field level transportation personnel who must practice their plans within their departments or as part of multi-agency response exercises. This handbook is designed to give practical and step-by-step guidance to field level leadership in developing the appropriate training and exercise cycle as required by the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program. It is also a resource for academic courses in emergency management that cover the HSEEP exercise cycle.
The research for this project began with a survey of current transit and transportation exercise managers. Suggestions were solicited on how to create a practical guide for sector exercise development. Research on training adults included a review of the current literature, FEMA's current National Incident Management System training requirements, and new initiatives such as Presidential Policy Directive-8, Whole Community approach, and DHS critical infrastructure resilience programs.
Dynamic Humanitarian Response to Complex Geographic Settings Resiliency Model (HRCGS): Application and At-Risk Populations' Operational Considerations for Emerging Infectious Disease: SARS, Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) 2009, MERS-CoV, Influenza A (H7N9)
Recent development of the Dynamic Humanitarian Response to Complex Geographic Settings Resiliency Model have had a direct impact on clinical effectiveness, preparedness and response efficiency, and mindful resource development and allocation for all hazards in 2013. Analysis is presented on specific application to at risk populations and emerging infectious diseases, historically and in the current phase of MERS-CoV and Influenza A(H7N9). Operational considerations based on historic disease preparedness and response lessons learned are highlighted.
Sexual Violence in Disasters: Prevention and Response Tools from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center
In the aftermath of disasters, sexual violence can increase, leading to tragedy within a tragedy. In disaster-stricken areas, disruptions in social systems contribute to risk factors for sexual violence perpetration, including lack of employment opportunities, poverty, lack of responsive police and judicial systems, weak community sanctions against perpetrators, and high levels of crime and violence. Social inequalities are often magnified, heightening the risk of victimization particularly among people of color, people living in poverty, people with disabilities, people in later life, children, and women.
Since 2005, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has worked to increase access to information on preventing and responding to sexual violence during and after disasters by creating resources for professionals in sexual violence prevention, victim advocacy, disaster management, emergency response, and numerous allied fields. These resources include:
• Sexual Violence in Disasters: A Planning Guide for Prevention and Response (available in English and Spanish)
• The National Relief Fund for Sexual Assault Victims
• Sexual Violence in Disasters Fact Sheet
• Palm-sized cards with tips on what to do during a disaster
• Interactive online courses on sexual violence in disasters
Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in 2000, the NSVRC identifies, develops, and disseminates resources regarding all aspects of sexual violence prevention and intervention.
For more information, visit http://nsvrc.org/projects/preventing-sexual-violence-disasters.
Has the Distribution of Tornadoes Within the United States Geographically Shifted Over the Last 60 Years?
Global climate change is expected to have widespread repercussions. Scientists must piece together different climate models to determine how weather patterns will be affected in warmer climate scenarios. One possible effect of a warmer climate is a change in the distribution of tornado frequency in the United States.
It has been suggested that due to changes in available potential energy and wind shear, tornado strength will either increase or decrease. Models disagree. Similarly, it has been concluded that overall tornadic frequency has in fact increased over time in a greenhouse gas enhanced climate.
This project attempts to determine if there is a statistically significant linear relationship between tornado frequency/distribution, and if there is in what direction? In determining if there is a significant correlation, climatology data of tornado distribution will be taken from each state and compared over a 60-year period to see if there is any noticeable distribution change.
End-User Perspectives of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) within Emergency Management Organizations: A Case Study
Recent natural and technological disasters in the United States have highlighted the need for a more regional approach to the management of emergencies and disasters. Technological advancements have the potential to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency planning, response, and recovery, while also supporting a regional approach.
However, a number of factors suppress the diffusion of technologies within organizations. The purpose of this study is to identify the barriers that exist in the implementation of GIS within emergency management organizations from the perspective of the end-user.
Comparative analysis of Shelby County and Lauderdale County, two Tennessee counties that experienced significant flooding in May 2010 and May 2011 forms the basis of this effort. In order to assess end user perceptions of the value and use of GIS within emergency management organizations, quantitative and qualitative statistical methods were applied to surveys, focus groups, interviews, and after action reports involving individuals who participated in the official response effort in these counties.
Results shed light on the perceived benefits and limitations of utilizing GIS in the complex practice of emergency management and lead to recommendations for addressing perceived and actual barriers to implementation.
Jennifer Griffith,Texas A&M Health Science Center
Kay Carpender, Texas A&M Health Science Center
Bruce Clements, Texas Department of State Health Services
Michael Felan, Texas Department of State Health Services
Jennifer Kiger, Texas Department of State Health Services
From Assessment to Action and on to Resilience: The Texas Tool Mitigation Planning Process
Stakeholders from local, regional, and state public health, emergency management, homeland security, healthcare systems, mental health services, and academia came together to develop the Texas Tool for Public Health Risk Assessment. Counties in the Dallas and Houston Metropolitan Statistical Areas served as pilot sites and completed the Texas Tool by inputting their scores for 15 public health preparedness capabilities and scoring availability of needed resources for 41 hazards.
Resulting information provided top public health hazards based on hazard and residual risk scores, capability gaps and resource gaps. But reporting and use of information with external stakeholders for mitigation planning needed to be addressed.
As the academic practice partner, Texas A&M worked with the two MSAs to create a strategy for using data from the tool with counties and MSAs in the mitigation planning process. The process resulted in several documents including the Texas Tool County Profile, which reports and explains Texas Tool results. It also explains how a county's hazard risk, residual risk, hazard capability, and resource scores align with other counties in the MSA.
The MSA level profile was created to report regional information related to the Texas Tool. These profiles, in combination with the Intervention Strategies and Activities Document and Mitigation Planning and Reporting Template, allow counties and MSAs to consider and documents intervention strategies based on Texas Tool results.
The Role of Hurricane Risk Information and Messages in Shaping Responses to Hurricanes
We will present the results of our recent research based on a survey conducted with 1,093 residents of Harris County, Texas during the 2011 hurricane season in which no major storm events occurred. The objective is to systematically test and quantify the role of messaging from county emergency officials for different hurricane strengths through a semi-experimental design and compare that to the influence of neighbors as an alternative source of information in making decisions.
Preliminary results suggest that when officials recommend evacuation for category 2 to 4 hurricanes and neighbors' actions match, between 11 percent and 23 percent more respondents decide to evacuate compared to the numbers when a "shelter-in-place" recommendation is issued. When officials' and neighbors' recommendations are in disagreement, people tend to listen more to neighbors as the category of the hurricane increases.
We will also present the findings of the survey relating to the household preparation activities during the hurricane season in the absence of a specific threat. It allows us to measure the effectiveness of the hurricane preparedness campaigns that are launched with the start of each hurricane season.
We will also present our recent efforts in developing scalable, high-resolution, and high-accuracy risk models computed using emerging hybrid models that combine physics-driven analytical and data-driven statistical learning methods to estimate the consequences of being exposed to hurricane-induced hazards. Risk models also support the next generation Storm Risk Calculator which advises residents to make informed decisions for better compliance with official directives.
Henry Hodde, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Deanna Schmidt, University of Houston-Clear Lake
Gavin Smith, University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
Kathleen Garland, University of Houston-Clear Lake
The Damage Assessment Process: Evaluating Coastal Storm Damage Assessments after Hurricane Ike (2008) and Hurricane Irene (2011)
The damage assessment process is an integral part of today's disaster relief and recovery. Not only is the information collected during this stage important for allocating funds and assistance, it can be used for effective emergency management, relief and recovery efforts, and effective reconstruction policies. Thorough damage assessments can lead to a more efficient disaster response and informed recovery efforts, thus increasing a community's resilience to hazards.
This study details how specific communities collect and use initial damage assessment data, and recommends additional uses and collection methods for this data to enhance community resilience. This research has the following objectives: (1) evaluate the process for collecting damage data in several Texas and North Carolina coastal communities after a recent hurricane; (2) identify similarities and differences in the process among these communities; (3) assess how communities and other entities use damage assessment data; and (4) recommend improvements in this process to help communities become more resilient.
We find that the damage assessment process is inconsistent, since most communities, counties and state organizations do not follow the same protocols and methods. Moreover, most communities stop collecting and assessing local damage data once the disaster declaration has been announced. This inconsistency has the potential to impede response and recovery efforts. Lack of data leads to inadequate support for sound decision making.
Households' Hurricane Evacuation Expectations in Rio Grande Valley
The Lower Rio Grande Valley—Cameron, Willacy, and Hidalgo counties—has a large risk area population and limited evacuation routes, so this study examined valley residents' previous hurricane experiences, information sources, evacuation logistics plans, risk perceptions, and emergency preparedness to better plan for hurricane evacuations.
Data collected in a mail survey of 1,198 households yielded 254 valid questionnaires (response rate = 23.3 percent). Most households either had no previous hurricane experience (37.2 percent) or remained in their homes during a previous hurricane (32.8 percent). When deciding whether to evacuate from a future hurricane, they expect to rely primarily on official evacuation warnings (M=4.57, on a 1-5 scale) and local TV stations (M=4.41), and somewhat less on national TV networks (M=3.89) and local radio stations (M=3.85).
Households' evacuation expectations are positively correlated with hurricane intensity. Specifically, more than 80 percent of respondents expect to evacuate from a major hurricane (e.g., categories 3-5) and only 5.5 percent reported they would refuse to evacuate from any hurricane. Property protection (M=3.38) and traffic jams (M=3.37) are the concerns that would most negatively affect households' warning compliance.
In general, respondents reported that they would take an average of 2.15 vehicles per household, evacuate primarily on U.S. highways 77 and 281, and seek refuge in other cities of South Texas. Respondents tended to pick friends or relatives' homes as shelter destinations. Finally, households in hurricane risk areas were more accurate in identifying their presence in a risk area (90.2 percent) than households in inland flood zones (50 percent).
Tracking Workers' Home and Job Locations from Before to After Hurricane Ike
Businesses and the workforce upon which they depend are critical to the stability of regional economy. Types of industries and number and location of jobs can determine where people live and work at the local, county, and state levels. Coastal storms and hurricanes pose a potential threat to coastal communities and their workforces.
This poster uses a new publicly available longitudinal dataset to examine the changing patterns of workers' home and job locations, industry employment patterns, and commuter patterns in Galveston city and county in Texas prior to and after Hurricane Ike.
We used the secondary data of Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics provided by the U.S. Census Bureau through its on-the-map web service. We analyzed where workers live and where workers are employed, the number of primary job counts associated with work and home locations, travel distance, and industry patterns. We also employed inundation data related to surge zones from SLOSH models to map out areas impacted by Ike to better understand patterns of post hurricane flood damage.
The findings of this research can help better understand how these new data products can be employed in economic vulnerability mapping and to facilitate mitigation planning.
Public Health Implications of Changing Neighborhood Forms Following the Christchurch Earthquakes
While the spatial distribution of community resources and amenities normally evolves over the long term, recent earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, have dramatically contracted the timescale. Business activity has shifted from the central business district. Local suburban centers are in a state of change as surrounding businesses and amenities are relocated and buildings are demolished or rebuilt.
There have been significant population movements. This poster will present longitudinal research on the spatial dynamics of economic recovery, mapping health-related neighborhood characteristics across Christchurch pre-earthquake. What will these shifts in business activity and population movements mean for neighborhood form and wellbeing in Christchurch?
Following engagement with city council, earthquake recovery authorities, health authorities, and public health and urban science disciplines we apply a social determinants of health framework to examining post-earthquake changes. Pre-earthquake mapping identified variations in neighborhood resources known to be associated with health outcomes such as mental health and physical activity.
Post-earthquake mapping identified changes in business locations and economic activity that contribute to neighborhood-level resources, such as cafes, convenience stores and pharmacies. Before and after comparisons suggest some neighborhoods may have poorer access to health resources, either from reduction in services and amenities, or because of increased population in low resource areas. Particular attention is paid to the public health implications of a transitional city over the prolonged rebuild stage.
Using Informal Secondary Data Sources to Identify Spatial Dynamics of Economic Recovery Following the Christchurch Earthquakes
Damage to buildings and infrastructure from the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, have long-term implications for where business takes place. Understanding these changes can provide big picture evidence for rebuilding the economic and community infrastructure, and inform future mitigation measures.
Because change is accelerated and intensified following major disasters the reporting periods and geographical scale need to be at a finer level than typically provided by official statistics. This longitudinal study used multiple secondary data sets from official and informal sources to observe changing patterns of businesses location and levels of economic activity in the initial response and immediate recovery phases, and compared their strengths and limitations.
The directionality of relocations and levels of inward and outward mobility at various scales (neighborhood, city, national) was successfully identified using mail redirections. Electronic transaction data identified intracity flows in business activity by industry classification. For example, we are able to identify spending changes within the city as business locations reopened, as well as activity changes from one part of the city to another.
Combined, informal datasets identified rapid dispersal away from the centre and eastern areas of Christchurch, with general shifts westward as well as a wider dispersal across the city. Analysis of official annual statistics on business demographics provided general support for the results from informal data sets, suggesting that while incomplete, informal data sources can provide timely, relatively unbiased results when information is scarce.
Eliot Jennings, University of North Texas
Sudha Arlikatti, University of North Texas
Simon Andrew, University of North Texas
David Mcentire, University of North Texas
James Kendra, University of Delaware
Factors Influencing the Intent to Use and Use of Disaster Response Decision Support Technologies: An Empirical Examination of Local Emergency Managers in FEMA Region 6
Numerous models of technology acceptance have been empirically tested in the information sciences literature. However, these studies have focused on private sector or citizen acceptance of technology. This study extends that research into public sector technology acceptance by examining factors leading to the acceptance and use of decision support software (e.g. WebEOC and E-team) for disaster response management by city and county emergency managers in the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 6.
Utilizing Venkatesh, et al's unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model as a framework, this research uses linear regression to examine how performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions influence the intent to utilize technology in a disaster management setting.
In contrast to numerous studies of private sector technology acceptance in which performance expectancy is the strongest indicator, the results of this study show social influence to consistently be the strongest factor influencing the intent to use DSS technology. Binary regression analysis indicates the intent to use DSS and facilitating conditions such as a centralized IT department and departmental GIS technician increase the probability of using DSS.
A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Community Recovery Following the 2004 Tsunami in Tamil Nadu, India
In recent years, the recovery efforts following major disasters—such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake—have highlighted the need for a better understanding of why communities recover differently. Previous studies have demonstrated that there is variation in how communities recover after a disaster. Some achieve greater resilience while others become more vulnerable.
While there have been individual and small n case studies of disaster recovery in recent years, there have been few comparative studies that link pre-disaster measures of resilience and vulnerability and post-disaster actions to long-term recovery outcomes.
Using a novel method—fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis—this research analyzes 15 communities in Tamil Nadu, India, to determine what combinations of predisaster factors and recovery strategies led to successful post-tsunami community recovery. Data was collected in each community through interviews, observations and secondary sources on economic, infrastructural, and social recovery outcomes and hypothesized causal factors.
Results found multiple pathways to the recovery outcomes for these villages, with both predisaster and postdisaster factors necessary for recovery. Pre-tsunami factors of social vulnerability and access to government resources were important, as were the recovery agency embeddedness, coordination, and oversight. The results of this study will guide community planners to focus their efforts on conditions that strengthen a community's ability to recover from a disaster.
The Drought Management Database: A Tool for Disseminating Drought Risk Management Information
Decision makers in various capacities can take preventive action to reduce the impacts of drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is launching a Drought Management Database during the summer of 2013 to help decision makers find recommendations for preparing for and responding to drought, and see what strategies are being tried across the United States.
The database will be available on the NDMC Website (http://drought.unl.edu). The database categorizes strategies by eight main sectors and provides several filters to help refine searches. Main sectors include farming, livestock production, water supply and quality, energy, recreation and tourism, fire, plants and wildlife, and society and public health.
Filters include publication date, activity type (e.g., education, planning, etc.), scope (jurisdiction), where the resource originated, and resource type (e.g., media, scholarly, website, etc.). There is also a full text search. Curating content for the Drought Management Database is an ongoing process and a natural outgrowth of the NDMC's mission to disseminate information that will help reduce societal vulnerability to drought.
The Drought Management News feature on the homepage of the database also provides a way to highlight drought management news stories that are identified in the NDMC's automated daily search. The stories provide a glimpse of issues and strategies that are being implemented around the country.
Estimating the Avoided Flood Damages of Floodplain Conservation
To build resilience in the face of flood risk, many communities in the U.S. are focusing on changing local land use—in particular, investing in strategically placed "green infrastructure"—to lower flood related losses.
This paper focuses on one such green infrastructure investment: the Meramec Greenway in St. Louis County, Missouri. The Greenway surrounds a 108-mile long stretch of the Meramec River as it stretches back from its confluence with the Mississippi. While providing numerous benefits, in this study we estimate the avoided flood damages that the creation of the Greenway has generated. To do this, we employ a GIS-based flood model developed for Federal Emergency Management Agency called Hazus. We update the model with parcel level data from St. Louis County. Hazus couples a hydrology and hydraulics model that estimates flood depths to an economic analysis of property damage. We estimate a hypothetical scenario in which instead of being protected, the lands in the Greenway had been developed instead.
Property flood damages are estimated in Hazus using depth-damage curves which relate depth of inundation to the percent of a structure's value that is damaged. These relationships are uncertain and we thus undertake a sensitivity analysis by estimating avoided damages using several different depth-damage functions that have been developed by public agencies and researchers. We also estimate our own depth-damage function specific for Missouri based on flood claims in the state over the last three decades, comparing them to the national curves.
Tornado Emergency! Emergency Manager Decision Making during the April 3, 2012 Tornado Outbreak in the DFW Metroplex
On April 3, 2012 the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex experienced one of the region's largest tornado outbreaks, producing 17 tornadoes with magnitudes ranging from EF-0 to EF-3. The event, a National Weather Service tornado emergency, caused damage to over 650 homes, resulting in over $700 million in damages. No fatalities and 29 injuries were reported.
Emergency managers play a critical role in communicating tornado warnings to the public, and are an integral component of an integrated warning team, along with the NWS and the media. This study uses survey and focus group data gathered from area EMs and NWS forecasters to identify warning decisions and communications made, and products used during each phase of the event (pre-watch, watch, warning and event phases).
Results indicate outdoor warning sirens and mass notification systems were used primarily during the warning and event phases. But social media was also used during all four event phases to alert the public. EMs with the ability to warn by subregion did not use this capability.
EMs accessed traditional information sources such as NWS products and local TV, as well as newer technologies such as smartphone apps, NWSchat, and social media. These findings are related to a new high resolution radar system in the Metroplex. The Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere is implementing the needs of end-users into the system design with the goal of reducing uncertainty in end user decision making.
Patterns of Unmet Housing Needs by Types during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Providing adequate housing for Katrina-Rita hurricane victims was difficult, from early emergency sheltering to recovery of permanent housing. However, there is limited systematic research related to the temporal aspects of housing issues during disasters. The purpose of this study is to identify and quantify demand for housing needs over time and location in Texas during early recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The 211 phone number is an information and referral service to help with non-emergency needs, established throughout Texas in 2004. Using Texas 211 data from fall 2005, 211 caller needs were analyzed by housing type (e.g., shelter, rental housing, and ownership housing). Spatial distributions of housing needs over time during the Katrina-Rita disasters and recovery were analyzed for total demand and controlled for urban/rural bias.
The preliminary results suggest that sheltering needs peaked first, followed by rental housing needs, and lastly, ownership housing needs. As expected, metropolitan evacuation destinations, disaster affected areas, and communities along major evacuation routes needed more housing resources than were available, but these patterns varied by housing type. It is important to examine housing demands that vary by disaster sites, evacuation routes and host areas. Also, differences in demand over time by housing type may help disaster and community planners establish more effective programs to meet disaster needs.
Chih-Chun Lin, Texas A&M University
Michael Lindell, Texas A&M University
Carla Prater, Texas A&M University
Hao-Che Wu, Texas A&M University
Shih-Kai Huang, Texas A&M University
Laura Siebeneck, University of North Texas
Evacuees' Information Sources and Reentry Decision Making in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike
Understanding households' responses during an evacuation can help emergency managers to increase evacuees' reentry plan compliance. Local authorities may have difficulty communicating with evacuees because they are scattered over multiple cities in the United States. Authorities should manage reentry better by providing households reentry information through reliable and accessible sources.
This study collected data on the evacuees' reentry in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike to answer questions about households' reliance on information sources when they decided to return home. The results indicate that households relied on different information sources during the reentry process. The primary reentry information source utilized by households was local news media, while they relied most on information received from peers. In addition, none of the information sources correlated significantly with reentry plan compliance.
Michael Lindell, Texas A&M University
Carla Prater, Texas A&M University
Christopher Gregg, East Tennessee State University
Emma Apatu, East Tennessee State University
Shih-Kai Huang, Texas A&M University
Hao Che Wu, Texas A&M University
Households' Immediate Responses to the 2009 Samoa Earthquake and Tsunami
There are many anecdotal accounts but little systematic research on tsunami evacuations. This study used variables from the Protective Action Decision Model to guide data collection about 262 residents' responses to the 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami.
The results show that earthquake shaking, combined with knowledge that this can cause a tsunami, was a major source of first awareness about a possible tsunami (43 percent) and that the news media was the most common first source of warnings from social sources (23 percent). Radio was an important source of additional information (55 percent), as were face-to-face contacts (41 percent) and phone calls (29 percent).
Contrary to previous research, none of the recommended elements of a warning message was significantly correlated with evacuation, possibly because the widespread recognition of environmental cues led most respondents to evacuate (66.1 percent) and to do so very rapidly (86.4 percent within 30 minutes). Those who had participated in earthquake hazard awareness meetings had higher risk perceptions and were more likely to evacuate to higher ground but were also more likely to delay evacuation. They and their household members were no less likely to be overtaken by the tsunami.
Consistent with other disaster studies, this one found demographic and situational variables had few and inconsistent correlations with risk perception and evacuation. In general, the study's results are consistent with previous findings on disaster response. But it is difficult to disentangle the effects of social context from the specific circumstances of this event, so more studies are needed to obtain information about households' disaster responses.
The Review of Resilience Research and Practice in Disaster Management
As we enter the 21st century, we are seeing increases in the frequency of disasters, in the size of economic losses, and in the size of affected population in many parts of the world.
Resilience is an important characteristic in the interaction of the nature-human system, and of sustaining development and decreasing vulnerability. Foreign and domestic scholars have paid close attention to it in recent years. However, while reviewing literature on the resilience concept has yielded insight into the essential components and characteristics of resilient systems, a number of challenges remain.
The objective of this paper is to provide suggestions to push the application of resilience forward. Literature about various definitions of resilience and the state of practices of resilience in some countries is reviewed to provide guidance.
I argue that resilience is the ability of a system, society, country, community, household, and individual to prepare and plan for, absorb, resist, accommodate to, and recover from disturbances in a timely and efficient manner. This includes ensuring the preservation, restoration, or improvement of essential structures and functions.
Shared responsibilities at all levels and the significance of the community level should be emphasized. Approaches to building resilience might be different from the traditional disaster management process. Establishing a culture of resilience is the start of implementing resilience strategies.
Unpacking Crowdsourcing for Emergency Management
Crowdsourcing is commonly defined as making an open call to a broad, undefined group of people to work on a task in a distributed way, often through remote participation. Crowdsourcing is gaining significant attention in the crisis domain through the innovative uses of social software and networking technologies like social media platforms.
Many characterizations of crowdsourcing are simplified depictions of this emerging practice that have a tendency to gloss over why certain crowds and sourcing tasks may be more suitable than others. This poster presents a crisis crowdsourcing framework to structure the different conceptualizations of the proces in the crisis domain.
The framework delineates the following five components to consider when developing a crowdsourcing project: (1) What is the purpose of the project and types of task needed; (2) What types of crowds and expertise are needed; (3) What types of crowdsourcing techniques are needed; (4) What are the spatial considerations of the project; and (5) What are the temporal considerations in relation to the disaster life cycle.
Together, these components constitute the information and communication technology ecosystem that is needed to implement a crisis crowdsourcing project. Multiple configurations of crowdsourcing might be needed for a single project to maximize the benefits of one configuration while minimizing the tradeoffs of another configuration of crowdsourcing.
The poster will show examples of different configurations of crowdsourcing from past disasters and how this framework guides the development of a crowdsourcing project to improve coastal change prediction models.
Developing and Testing a Conceptual Framework of Resilience
A conceptual framework has been developed to measure resilience. The framework is constructed from Peacock et al.'s definition, which states that resilience is "the ability of a community and the bio-physical systems upon which they depend to: (1) resist or absorb the impacts (deaths, damage, losses, etc.) of natural hazards; (2) rapidly recover from those impacts; and (3) reduce future vulnerabilities through adaptive strategies."
This definition can actually be superimposed on top of the adaptive cycle generated by Gunderson and Holling as a way to assess the resilience of any system. Based on this definition, an example of measurable indicators is selected for each component of the definition as well as at multiple scales—landscape, community, and site. Multiple scales were used as a means to take a more holistic approach to the complexity of the system.
I have applied the conceptual framework to a community's resilience to flood impacts. Because I assess community resilience, the geographic units are broken into political boundaries for each corresponding scale, which are county (Fort Bend), city (Sugar Land), and neighborhood (Telfair) in Texas. This pilot project offers a matrix by which to measure flood resilience, explains the ability to generate a composite score of resilience, and demonstrates how a larger study can be executed.
What's the Chance of My Building Being Damaged by an Earthquake? Progress of USGS Seismic Risk Web Application for Forecasting Earthquake Damage
The U.S. Geological Survey receives many inquiries regarding the likelihood of earthquake-induced damage to buildings. USGS scientists are known for producing seismic hazard curves and derivative maps that quantify the probabilities of potential earthquake ground motion levels being exceeded during a given time horizon. To extend this ground motion hazard information, USGS engineers have developed fragility curves for generic building types that quantify "what-if" probabilities of damage for the potential earthquake ground motions. By combining hazard and fragility curves in its Risk Mapping Web Application, the USGS addresses the aforementioned requests from the public.
As presented at the 2012 Natural Hazards Workshop in beta format, the Risk Mapping Web Application is designed for expert as well as non-technical users. Advanced users can upload lists of building locations and types, and their own fragility curves. The risk output computed by combining this information with USGS hazard curves can be used to, for example, guide prioritization of retrofits to buildings in a community. Novice users are able to select a building type—pertaining to a single-family home, for example—by using a series of drop-down menus, and receive a map of their risk relative to other building locations.
By also selecting other building types, non-technical users can examine their relative risk. The Risk Mapping Web Application provides web-based, CSV, and KML output. We present important application advances during the past year.
Social Capital and Collective Efficacy: Developing Disaster-Specific Measures
Two commonly proposed, but under-theorized, components of community disaster resilience are social capital and collective efficacy. Social capital describes the resources available through a social network, whereas collective efficacy refers to the capacity of a group of people to work together for shared goals and has been linked to a variety of collective outcomes. These two capture the interactive aspects of a community that imply a capacity to respond, adapt, learn, and effectively reorganize community life quickly following an event.
Much disaster resilience research uses routine measures of these concepts. Yet, social capital and collective efficacy theorists argue that research must be specified to particular contexts and situations. Based on surveys and interviews with residents of two Florida counties, one rural and one urban, I develop disaster-specific measures of both concepts and discuss how they compare and contrast with routine measures.
My findings highlight distinctions in disaster-specific social capital and collective efficacy from routine conceptualizations of each. My network-based approach to disaster social capital shows the importance of family, and how these networks may not transform into economic capital.
The collective efficacy results highlight how disasters are perceived to bring out the best in neighbors and community members, but that disaster response organizations are assumed to work effectively and efficiently to coordinate collective action, forming the basis of collective efficacy and community resilience.
The Practice of Disaster Social Capital among Community Organizations: Comparison and Contrast Between Two Florida Counties
I focus on disaster-specific organizational social capital among community organizations in two Florida counties, one rural and one suburban/urban. Disaster social capital represents the resources available through social networks that specifically address disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, or recovery. Organizational social capital can produce benefits for the individual organizations and the whole network including knowledge creation and sharing, financial resources, and innovation. Further, it increases efficiency and effectiveness especially important to social service and nongovernmental organizations focused on community outcomes.
In disaster settings, social capital among emergency management organizations fosters more efficient response and it is central to Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Whole Community Approach" (four of the six themes focus on social capital). While social capital is important to community resilience, much research uses counts of organizations to infer the availability of this resource. Few studies have focused on non-disaster organizations use of networks for disaster situations.
Based on interviews with nonprofit, emergency management, religious, and social service agencies, I present two typologies of disaster social capital and discuss the perceived benefits of each on community disaster resilience, especially for vulnerable populations. One shows a durable, disaster-specific network, while the other involves assumed response from routine social capital. My results highlight the importance of specifying social capital to disaster and understanding the qualitative aspects of relationships among organizations.
Socio-Technical Analysis of Hurricane Isaac Power Restoration
This paper focuses on power outages caused by Hurricane Isaac on August 29, 2012. The power outage and restoration process led to broad criticism of the two major private power companies serving Louisiana from the public and government officials.
The goal of this work is to understand how power restoration speed, power utility actions, and other factors influence real and perceived impacts to customers, as well as reactions of the public and government officials. This paper presents an analysis of power outage patterns in the context of their social, economic, and ecological impacts.
These results are compared with codified reactions to the power restoration activities and performance from a sampling of customers, emergency managers, and government officials.
Results provide insights about whether increasing outage time results in a quantifiable difference in business impacts, as well as whether outage patterns affected some types of customers more than others. This paper characterizes restoration decisions of the two major power companies, as well as the context that might have influenced these decisions, to understand organizational practices for improving power system resilience.
This work can be used to reduce power outage impacts to businesses, households, and government services. It will help to set reasonable guidelines and criteria for restoration performance of power companies. Utility providers and emergency management agencies will benefit from this research through improvement of strategies for power system resilience practices with respect to technical performance, socioeconomic impacts, and public or government relations.
Tsunami Planning Activities in California: Applying Lessons Learned from Recent Events
The California Tsunami Program works with other state, federal, and academic organizations to improve tsunami preparedness and mitigation in the state. program objectives include evaluation of the 2010 Chile and 2011 Japan tsunamis, which caused dramatic loss of life and damage in the near-source region, with notable impacts in California. Field reconnaissance in Japan and California after the 2011 tsunami has provided a unique opportunity for the reevaluation of tsunami hazard mitigation products and strategies for emergency response, maritime, and land-use planners.
• Review of the 2011 event in Japan has led to a reassessment of the tsunami threat from the Cascadia subduction zone. Scenario specific, tsunami evacuation "playbook" maps and guidance are being produced detailing inundation from tsunamis of various size and source location.
• After the 2010 Chile event, evaluation of tsunami currents and damage has lead to production of in-harbor hazard maps and offshore safety zones for potential boat evacuation.
• The large number of exposed communities and structures in Japan provides incentive for California to develop "probability-based" products more appropriate for land-use planning under the Seismic Hazard Mapping Act.
• Real-time and post-tsunami field teams have been expanded to share information during and after an event through a state-wide clearinghouse.
These new products and related efforts will result in more accurate and efficient planning and response by coastal communities, potentially reducing the loss of lives and property in tsunamis.
Are Cash-for-Work Programs Effective to Promote Disaster Recovery? Lessons from the CfW Program after the Disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011
Cash for Work programs are common tools for humanitarian assistance. CfW provides cash to affected people in return for their work on various recovery projects, such as removal of debris and repair or reconstruction of damaged infrastructure. Despite its popularity as a recovery tool, very few academic studies have been conducted to evaluate it.
The current study aims to evaluate CfW programs as a disaster recovery tool from large-scale disasters in the context of the CfW program implemented after the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. Perspectives of the beneficiaries are considered.
After the failure of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, at least 50,000 people in Fukushima prefecture were ordered to evacuate. Many of the refugees, especially self-employed citizens and farmers, lost their livelihood because of their evacuation. The Fukushima prefectural government then launched a CfW program, whereby unemployed people were hired to engage in disaster-related activities, such as life support services for refugees.
Results of the questionnaire survey of 894 individual workers of the CfW program conducted in April 2012 indicate the success of CfW at targeting disaster-affected people with poor job securities. Moreover, the program is shown to be successful in encouraging and empowering them. Factor analysis and multi-regression analysis likewise show several conditions that enable the CfW to be successful.
False Alarm Understanding and Perception
Meteorologists diligently pursue the most innovative and advanced technologies in order to deliver the most accurate forecasts possible. Even so the current state-of-the-art remains imperfect. Despite significant advances in technology, discrepancies still remain between what is predicted and what actually happens.
Meteorologists, emergency managers, and the public have to cope with uncertainty in weather predictions. False alarms are an inevitability that must be dealt with. While much work has been done on explaining the concept of false alarm and reducing false alarm rates across the country, there is still a need for further empirical work on the understanding and perception of false alarm by the public.
Using a random digit dial sample and a computer assisted telephone interview system, data were collected focusing on public perception and protective action decision making in counties affected by a severe storm or tornado warning. Over a thousand interviews were conducted following 17 weather events across several different states. The study uses the data to provide a sociological analysis of false alarms. The research will provide insights into: (1) what the public thinks the concept of false alarm means; (2) what factors drive perception of false alarms; and (3) how false alarm rates influence trust and protective action decisions during tornadoes.
These insights will advance our knowledge of false alarms. They will also a basis for suggestions to meteorologists and emergency managers about how those insights matter for warning systems.
Gender Stereotypes and Disaster Vulnerabilities
In India, the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 affected 2.79 million people, causing extensive damage. Yet the tsunami occurred in a social world shaped by gender roles that determine access to resources and rights. The severity of the impact of the disaster for men, women, boys, and girls varied according to an individual's predisaster vulnerabilities.
How can nongovernmental organizations design and implement gender-sensitive programming during disasters? If NGOs mainstream gender in programming, can disaster relief make communities more equitable and just places to live for women and marginalized populations?
Mainstreaming gender in humanitarian assistance programming involves transforming existing gender-neutral agendas in order to focus on the specific concerns of women, men, boys, and girls and the relations among them, while working towards gender equality. Programs must directly address the subordinate position of women relative to men. While focusing on women's empowerment, it is also important to consider the gender hierarchies and vulnerabilities of young men and excluded groups.
Central to gender mainstreaming is an analysis of individual and community roles, including the social institutions that reproduce and reinforce the relationships which determine who gets and does what, in both public and private domains.
The posters presented have been developed based on lessons from two years of research on gender mainstreaming strategies adopted by NGOs to empower women, vulnerable men, and excluded groups during the emergency disaster post-tsunami humanitarian response in South India. These posters also capture the positive and negative impacts of response programs on women, expose gender stereotypes of humanitarian organizations and aim to create greater awareness on intricate issues of gender and equality.
Trust-Based Social Network of Flood Survivors in the United States
The importance of community resilience in disaster recovery has been tested both theoretically and empirically. As a primary building block for community resilience, social capital has rarely been studied quantitatively in disaster management research.
Trust, as a social capital that spreads among people via formal or informal relationships, is essential to most interactions and all economic transactions. It is selected as the community resilience key parameter and is measured in the social network model. The social network model illustrates key players involved in the disaster recovery and how they cluster within and beyond the affected community.
The connections among members in the network enable information exchange and communication. The network itself comprises the level of trust, which has rarely been quantified in previous disaster management research.
The model is based on the relational data collected from a set of two parallel survey questionnaires—flood survivors and restoration contractors. The research is an attempt to quantify the relationships within a disaster-affected community. It shows explicitly the members in a survivor-centered, post-disaster recovery network. Such models can be applied to great scale of community members in disaster-prone areas to visualize the direct and indirect connections among government, business, and communities. The results of the analysis supports disaster mitigation and planning decisions.
California Local Energy Assurance Planning (CaLEAP)
Across California, over 50 local governments are teaming with the California Energy Commission to embark on an all-hazards planning process that will make their communities more resilient in the event of an emergency that disrupts their energy supply. This initiative is called CaLEAP—California Local Energy Assurance Planning.
While many local governments have existing plans, very few emphasize energy or address the potential cascading impacts stemming from a loss of energy. CaLEAP addresses this gap.
Becoming more energy resilient will help local governments prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against potential emergencies that impact energy, while minimizing economic loss and protecting public health and safety. In this context, resilience is "the ability to respond effectively to an emergency and to recover quickly from events that disrupt energy." CaLEAP is about:
• Ensuring "key assets" are functional when needed;
• Fostering critical public-private partnerships before incidents happen;
• Gaining awareness of energy dependencies; and,
• Identifying actions and projects to move toward increased energy resiliency.
Gaining an understanding of energy dependencies is a very important piece of CaLEAP. Our communities have become very complex and many elements within them are reliant upon another element within the community. For example, water systems need energy for their services, but energy providers may also need water to produce energy. Understanding these issues before an emergency occurs allows a community to better prepare. To find out more about this exciting program, please see www.caleap.org
Just Add Water: When Should Liquefaction Be Considered in Land Use Planning?
The recent Christchurch earthquakes in New Zealand have demonstrated the damage to infrastructure, the disruption to economic activity, and the social consequences—displacement of individuals and communities—which can result from liquefaction. The potential for liquefaction is not limited to Christchurch, with several cities and towns in New Zealand built on liquefiable land.
Many councils are investigating the liquefaction hazard and exploring land use planning methods to address the potential risk. While in many cases, investigating the liquefaction hazard is required, anecdotal evidence has suggested that several councils are unduly concerned about the liquefaction risk. This is because liquefaction requires two basic conditions in order to occur.
Firstly, the region needs to be at a sufficient seismic risk for an earthquake large enough to trigger liquefaction. Secondly, there needs to be the specific soil structure which is susceptible to liquefaction.
Some areas of New Zealand (for example Northland) do not have one or more of these basic conditions and as such do not need to consider the liquefaction hazard as part of their land use planning process.
This poster will present a decision tree that allows planners to assess if liquefaction is a hazard that should be included in the planning process.
New Zealand's Next Top Model: Integrating Tsunami Inundation Modeling into Land Use Planning
Guidance has been provided in New Zealand to assist land use planners to use tsunami modeling, which is often prepared for emergency management purposes, e.g., evacuation planning. The guidance provides a brief overview of tsunami basics, presenting a decision tree for including tsunami risk into land use planning.
This poster will present the decision tree and methodology for land use planners to use.
A Framework for Risk-Based Land Use Planning for Natural Hazard Risk Reduction
Planners have a responsibility to plan for the future of our cities, ensuring that the safety and security of present or future communities are not compromised by urban growth, development, and renewal. Land-use planning is often described as an opportune tool or reducing or eliminating risks from natural hazards.
Many land use planning policies and decisions are based around "a number," such as the one-in-one-hundred-year event, or an undefined level of risk, such as an "acceptable level of risk." This has led to many developments being approved which have increased the potential risk to people and property. To assist planners in defining levels of risk and promote a risk-based approach to land use planning for natural hazards, a five-step, risk-based approach to natural hazards has been developed, with associated community engagement and consultation at each step:
1. Know your hazard;
2. Determine the severity of the consequences;
3. Evaluate the likelihood of an event;
4. Take a risk-based approach; and
5. Monitor and evaluate.
This poster will present the risk-based approach developed in New Zealand, which enables an "acceptable level of risk" to be qualified and measured.
The Development and Modeling of Disaster Resilience Indicators in Thailand
The establishment and measurement of communities' pre-event conditions is imperative towards understanding their potential capabilities to successfully respond to and recover from disasters. The purpose of this study was to develop a disaster resilience index that would provide a baseline metric for understanding pre-disaster conditions across all the provinces in Thailand. Based on the resulting index, we also examine differences in rural, suburban, and urban disaster resilience.
Methods: Guided primarily by Cutter et al's Disaster Resilience of Place model, indicators were selected to measure social, economic, institutional, infrastructural, and community capital of 76 Thai provinces. Using data from the Thai census and Statistical Yearbook, a principal components analysis was conducted to identify the factor groupings. Next, a Moran's Global I analysis was used to examine strong spatial clustering of disaster resilience.
Results: Overall, the model suggests that provinces with higher percentages of residents living in urban areas have higher resilience scores when compared to more rural areas. Specifically, social wellbeing, household assets, employment attainment or spiritual assets, community or response assets, and institutional assets explained just over 80 percent of the variance.
Conclusions: Although creation of a baseline metric is of value, it has limitations. There are challenges associated with data acquisition and translation at a local level. Additionally, such a metric is incapable of getting at a nuanced understanding of whether disaster sub-cultures (communities that experience annual floods) are more or less resilient. This will require further subjective assessments through qualitative studies at local levels.
Jeannette Sutton, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Charles Benight, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Kotaro Shoji, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Jessica Lambert, Alliant International University
Britta Johnson, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Disaster Resilient Rural Communities: Perceptions of Collective Efficacy Following Two Rural Mountain Disaster Events
Community resilience in disaster has become a key issue among those facing seasonal hazard events and unexpected environmental jolts. Strategies to identify what makes a community resilient and to utilize these findings to increase adaptive capacities have increased as disaster losses have grown. In rural communities, where populations tend to be geographically isolated and must be reliant upon local resources, local resiliency is critical. One intriguing community variable with little post-disaster scientific evaluation is the Internet.
This research examines the question: "How does access to online information effect the perception of individual and collective resilience in rural communities across all phases of disaster?" We investigate the interplay among disaster exposure, social capital, individual and family level coping ability perceptions, and access to information to better understand individual and community resilience.
We present findings from face-to-face interviews with key informants and a representative survey of the public in two rural mountain communities which were affected by wildfire in 2007. We test theoretically based models that focus on social and individual resources in predicting community resilience, comparing between those who indicated reliance on the Internet and those who did not.
Findings from this research will increase knowledge about critical dimensions of rural community resiliency, including community resources, information and communication infrastructures, social capital, and community competence across all phases of disaster, taking into account the individual and community level responses.
Jeannette Sutton, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Carter Butts, University of California, Irvine
Emma Spiro, University of California, Irvine
Britta Johnson, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Sean Fitzhugh, University of California, Irvine
Ben Gibson, University of California, Irvine
HEROIC: Hazards, Emergency Response, and Online Informal Communications
The nearly continuous, informal exchange of information—including such mundane activities as gossip, rumor, and casual conversation—is characteristic human behavior, found across societies and throughout recorded history. While often taken for granted, these natural patterns of information exchange become an important "soft infrastructure" for decentralized resource mobilization and response during emergencies, disasters, and other extreme events. Although the potential to exploit this capacity for emergency warnings, alerts, and response is increasingly recognized by practitioners, relatively little is known about the dynamics of informal online communication in emergencies—in particular, about the ways existing streams of information are modified by the introduction of emergency information from both official and unofficial sources.The HEROIC project seeks to address this gap.
Initial research efforts focused on strategies for data collection and storage. Current research projects have focused on a series of domestic disaster events, investigating: (1) networked communications among official response organizations; (2) Twitter message content and structure and its effects on serial transmission; (3) association between online rumoring behavior and properties of hazard events (e.g. impact, severity, affected population characteristics); and (4) changes in the affective or emotional state of the public post event.
Natural Hazard Mitigation Association
The Natural Hazard Mitigation Association was founded to bring together individuals and organizations working in the field of hazard mitigation. NHMA is organization of professionals involved in natural hazard mitigation. The organization serves as a respected voice in hazard mitigation policy both in the United States and throughout the world. We represent the interests of communities, governments, the research community, the insurance industry, and the fields of engineering, emergency response, water resources, planning, and many other fields.
During 2012-2013 NHMA embarked on an ambitious series of efforts to assist communities, agencies, individuals and businesses build a safer, more resilient society.
Resilient Neighbors Network. RNN is a grassroots program designed to link grassroots communities working to become safer, disaster resilient, and sustainable. We will be available to discuss next steps for RNN at the poster session.
Superstorm Sandy support. NHMA has developed and published a series of guides to assist in Sandy recovery. Those guides and related information will be available for discussion at the poster session.
Changes in federal policy. In cooperation with the Brookings Institute, we assisted in the development of a white paper on changes in federal policy which will support hazard mitigation and climate adaptation. We will be available to discuss that white paper and the suggested changes.
Emergency Employment after the Great East Japan Earthquake: A Region-Wide Analysis
Over 110,000 people lost their jobs soon after the March 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare launched an emergency employment program to help unemployed survivors. The cash-for-work feature of the program provided temporary employment after this disaster, which was a major relief for survivors who had lost their property, job, or family. It provided them a livelihood and mental satisfaction.
However, program implementation was difficult. Although local governments employed many people, the program required participation by private enterprise and nonprofit organizations. Program implementation varied according to regional situations.
A region-wide statistical analysis of program implementation shows two results. First, the number of employees who found employment under the program is correlated not only to the damage level, but also to the regional industry structure. For instance, the number of such employees is highly correlated to the factor, main industry in regions with fishery as the primary industrial sector. And second, the more the number of such employees, the higher the rate of participation by other organizations.
We conclude that regions whose main industry is the primary industrial sector would especially require an employment program. Participation by other organizations played an important role in employment for victims.
Craig Trumbo, Colorado State University
Lori Peek, Colorado State University
Michelle Meyer, Texas A&M University
Holly Marlatt, Colorado State University
Brian Mcnoldy, University of Miami
Wayne Schubert, Colorado State University
Eve Gruntfest, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Modeling Hurricane Preparedness and Evacuation Intention
In this project we used a mail survey to study individuals located in the coastal area of the United States from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Brownsville, Texas. Participants were sampled in a spatially random manner within a 10-mile buffer along the coast. The same individuals were surveyed three times at one-year intervals. The initial response rate was 56 percent, with panel continuation rates of 75 percent and 85 percent, yielding a sample size ranging from approximately 650 to 400 depending on configuration.
The level of hurricane preparedness and behavioral intention for evacuation are modeled by factors including hurricane risk perception, optimistic bias, individual and household vulnerability characteristics, evacuation barriers, and community resilience indicators.
This poster offers an overview of the study and preliminary results. Findings indicate that risk perception can be seen as both an affective and cognitive orientation of the individual. We also examine optimistic bias for hurricane preparedness and evacuation, finding it is a related but independent factor from risk perception.
We also find that households with disabilities, females, and those having less confidence in community resilience have higher levels of hurricane risk perception. Also, disabilities in the household, less hurricane experience, and fewer evacuation barriers (e.g., work or family related, transportation) are associated with a greater intention to evacuate from a major storm. Preparedness is moderately predicted by a number of variables, including risk perception.
Santa Ana Winds Classification System
Santa Ana wind events (a type of Foehn wind) generally occur across Southern California from October to May each year. When the conditions for extreme wildfire events are present, high winds during this time period have led to devastating wildfires in recent years (1993, 2003, 2007, and 2008).
To improve decision support services to fire agencies and the general public living in the wildland-urban interface areas of Southern California, an innovative partnership between San Diego Gas and Electric, the U.S. Forest Service, National Weather Service, UCLA, and the Desert Research Institute are working on a tool to categorize these events.
Integrated with the decision support tool development is a multi-phase social science research project to assess the how this decision support tool can be introduced to and utilized by the general public and regional media outlets. The first phase of this project was a survey (n=459) that was undertaken in 2012 of WUI residents in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. The survey identified residents' sources for information about weather-related events, differences in the credibility and utilization of these sources, weather and fire-related information residents believe to be relevant just before and during a wildfire event, and their perceptions of their level of risk from wildfires.
Initial results suggest that WUI residents in the study area have experienced high levels of exposure to wildfire risk and are aware of atmospheric and vegetative conditions that contribute to wildfire events. Perceptions of wildfire risk and mitigation actions, however, vary across the study population.
"Certain Death" from Storm Surge: A Comparative Study of Hurricanes Rita and Ike
Hurricane Ike (2008) was a Category 2 storm with an unusually high storm surge, leading the National Weather Service to warn that coastal residents would face "certain death" if they did not evacuate. We tested the effect of this message by comparing Hurricane Ike questionnaire data from Galveston, Harris, and Jefferson counties to Hurricane Rita questionnaire data collected three years earlier.
As expected, respondents in two of the three counties had higher expectations of home wind damage from Rita than from Ike. Moreover, residents of all three counties had higher expectations of their homes being inundated by inland flooding from Rita than Ike.
However, if the "certain death" message had an effect, one would expect nonsignificant differences between the two storms because the Category 2 storm (Ike) had a surge that was more characteristic of a Category 5 storm (Rita). There were no significant differences between the two storms with respect to the Harris and Jefferson county residents' ratings of surge inundation but, surprisingly, Galveston residents gave significantly higher ratings of storm surge impact from Rita than Ike.
Finally, evacuation rates for Ike were consistently lower than those for Rita in all three counties (63.3 percent vs. 94.0 percent in Galveston, 33.8 percent vs. 46.8 percent in Harris County, and 78.3 percent vs. 97.9 percent in Jefferson County). In summary, these data suggest that the dramatic "certain death" warning had a limited effect on perceptions of surge impact severity but not on evacuation rates.
The Ol' Switcheroo: How Political Debate is Masked in the Science of Hurricane Risk Prediction
Conventional wisdom holds that hurricane catastrophe model predictions depict the true risk. Therefore, model predictions ought to dictate insurance rates. But hurricane risk is not an objective fact that exists out there. It is highly dependent on the context in which it is assessed—a context that includes social and political considerations.
Promoting Community Resiliency and Adaptation to Coastal Hazards in Connecticut
Local governments and nongovernmental organizations in Connecticut are moving forward with risk reduction strategies via an innovative model of community engagement that promotes comprehensive and proactive adaptation to coastal hazards. Connecticut has been affected by recent extreme weather events. Statewide disasters were declared for Tropical Storm Irene and Winter Storm Alfred in 2011 and superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Coastal flooding, wind, and storm surges have caused destruction of and damages to natural resources, homes, businesses, and infrastructure. The Nature Conservancy's Hazard and Climate Preparedness process incorporates state-of-the-science hazard and climate visualization (www.coastalresilience.org) with a risk matrix. It increases awareness of extreme weather and natural and climate-related hazards, assesses the risks, strength and vulnerabilities of communities today, and advances a prioritized list of immediate and long-term actions for incorporation directly into local and regional natural hazard mitigation and master plans and enrollment in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community Rating System.
The core directive of the effort is the engagement with and among community stakeholders in order to facilitate education, planning, and ultimately implementation of priority adaptation actions. This poster provides an easily transferable community engagement process supported by multiple municipal-based examples including Bridgeport and Guilford, Connecticut.
A Place Vulnerability Analysis of Flood Hazard Risk and Vulnerability in Grand Forks, North Dakota: 1990-2010
Flooding is the most common natural hazard in the United States, causing considerable damage and economic loss each year. Extensive mitigation efforts have been implemented across the country, focusing mainly on structural solutions. However, even with these efforts, flood damages have increased significantly over the past 100 years.
Communities in the Red River Valley of North Dakota have a long history of flood. The Grand Forks and the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area have experienced extensive flooding for more than 100 years. In 1997, the Grand Forks community experienced a catastrophic flood. The Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area narrowly escaped similar catastrophic flood damages on multiple occasions during the 2000s.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate flood hazard risk and vulnerability at Grand Forks from 1990-2010 prior to and following completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers certified $420 million levee system. We will identify the extent to which flood risk has actually been reduced over time. A place vulnerability approach will be used as the organizing framework to provide a quantitative spatial assessment of flood risk.