GEOG 588
Planning GIS for Emergency Management

Reading Assignment



These articles all describe aspects of geospatial risk and vulnerability in the context of emergency management. What are some categories for each concept, and how do they differ in geographic and/or temporal scales?

Note how Wood et al., calculate social vulnerability. What do you think is good about this method, and what do you think could be improved? How would this model be re-applied in other geographic contexts (perhaps in a developing country, for example).

  1. From GIS for Disaster Management - Read: Chapter 8 "Geographic Information Systems and Disaster Mitigation (pp. 233-250)

    Chapter 8 focuses on assessing and modeling risk and vulnerability using GIS. It includes core concepts associated with evaluating mitigation policies as well as the ways in which people can develop social and environmental variables to model risk and resilience.
  2. From the Web - Read: Wood, N.J., Burton, C.G., and Cutter, S.L., (2010) Community Variations in social vulnerability to Cascadia-related Tsunamis in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Natural Hazards, 52(2), 369-389.

    Abstract: Tsunamis generated by Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes pose significant threats to coastal communities in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Impacts of future tsunamis to individuals and communities will likely vary due to pre-event socioeconomic and demographic differences. In order to assess social vulnerability to Cascadia tsunamis, we adjust a social vulnerability index based on principal component analysis first developed by Cutter et al. (2003) to operate at the census-block level of geography and focus on community-level comparisons along the Oregon coast. The number of residents from blocks in tsunami-prone areas considered to have higher social vulnerability varies considerably among 26 Oregon cities and most are concentrated in four cities and two unincorporated areas. Variations in the number of residents from census blocks considered to have higher social vulnerability in each city do not strongly correlate with the number of residents or city assets in tsunami-prone areas. Methods presented here will help emergency managers to identify community sub-groups that are more susceptible to loss and to develop risk-reduction strategies that are tailored to local conditions.

  3. From the Web - Read: "Unit 3: Threat Analysis" from the the course: IS-235 Emergency Planning (download the pdf with the final exam).

Post your response to the Lesson 3 Reading Discussion Forum in Canvas.