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  2. How Accurate are Disaster Loss Data? The Case of U.S. Flood Damage
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The NEHRP agencies pursue the goals of the program through collaboration with each other and numerous partners. In addition to other federal agencies, program partners include state and local governments, universities, research centers, professional societies, trade associations and businesses, as well as associated councils, commissions and consortia. Program research helps to advance our understanding of why and how earthquakes occur and impact the natural and built environments. The program develops strategies, tools, techniques and other measures that can reduce the adverse effects of earthquakes and facilitates and promotes implementation of these measures, thereby strengthening earthquake resilience among at-risk communities.

NEHRP supports basic research that expands our knowledge of earthquakes and their impacts. This is accomplished chiefly through NSF, which funds earthquake-related research in the earth sciences, social sciences and engineering. NSF also supports empirical research carried out by post-earthquake reconnaissance teams, which visit affected regions to document earthquake impacts, the performance of the built environment and response and recovery efforts. USGS conducts and sponsors research related to assessing, monitoring and reporting on earthquake hazards.

NIST focuses on earthquake engineering research that creates the specialized technical information needed to reduce seismic vulnerability in the built environment. NSF has developed some of the best facilities for earthquake engineering through its support for the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

This research explores household residential dislocation after three hurricanes: Andrew August , Ike September , and Matthew October The decision to dislocate may be driven not only by damage to structures, but also by social factors related to vulnerability, such as ethnicity, income, and tenure.

Hazard ID and Risk Assessment

Surveys, including structural damage inspections, face-to-face interviews with residents where possible, and interviews with neighbors or residential managers where necessary, were conducted with randomly sampled housing units after each hurricane. The responses from three surveys are pooled into a single dataset to allow for analysis and comparison of factors influencing the probability of dislocation.

While each hazard event was a hurricane, the actual hazard driving damage was quite different. Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 hurricane and primarily a wind event; Hurricane Ike was primarily a surge event; and Hurricane Mathew was a riverine flooding event. The analyses attempt to capture the major factors that shape household dislocation: damage from wind, flooding, or both, and socio-economic factors.

While structural damage may be a primary factor in dislocation, other factors appear to have consequences as well. Damage type, flood depth, building type, race-ethnicity, income, and tenure were the significant factors affecting the probability of dislocation. The development of this dislocation model will help identify vulnerable residential areas in communities that have a higher probability of population loss due to household dislocation.

The Pacific Northwest is a very dangerous place when the ground shakes. It is best not to be in contact with the ground when it does. What options are there for avoiding contact with the shaky ground? Flying would shield us from seismicity, but so would being aboard a vessel at sea. Ships, like aircraft, are not in contact with the ground, and tsunamis are a shallow water phenomenon. Mariners have long known that at-sea vessels survive earthquakes and tsunamis. Pacific Northwest mariners, in particular, are noted for surviving fierce storms.

The Pacific Northwest mariner infrastructure, with its global affiliates, is therefore in a position to help save lives in the event of a Cascadia megaquake and hasten response and recovery to seismic events. It is therefore critical for local, state, federal, and international Pacific Northwest mariners to become allies in governmental disaster response and take full advantage of nautical and marine resources for emergency executions.

This research describes how the U. In-person interviews, home visits, and field observations were conducted in Puerto Rico from January through March Veterans, family members of veterans, family members of VA caregivers, national VA leadership, and community members with expertise in disaster recovery were also interviewed, for a total of 62 interviews and 12 home visits. Preliminary results of qualitative content analysis show that VA and non-VA LTC environments prepared residents and caregivers for Hurricane Maria through the provision of education and recommendations in advance, including whether enough medications and food were on hand.

Participants described Hurricane Maria not simply as a disaster, but a crisis, unlike any storm they had experienced. The interconnected nature of the VA seemed to provide a stronger support network compared to non-VA environments that were often independently run. The health of Veterans and non-Veterans was reported to be mostly stable during recovery.

This research can inform policies and procedures for facilities that care for elderly and disabled populations in areas prone to disasters. Natural hazards impact communities and people in disproportionate ways, and Iowa is no exception. We examined the impacts of low-attention disasters with respect to damages, specifically renter and socially vulnerable households. Marshalltown was extensively affected by the EF-3 tornado but was not a presidentially declared disaster until roughly two months after.

Marshalltown has a higher than average amount of renter-occupied housing and many immigrant community members for a small town. Research has shown that in disaster events, socially vulnerable and low-income neighborhoods tend to recover more slowly than more affluent neighborhoods. Our team conducted surveys of a random sample of households and recorded structural housing damage in the tornado path from September to November. The preliminary findings of our analysis indicate that houses in low-income neighborhoods were more heavily damaged compared to other neighborhoods, especially renter-occupied houses.

Despite a lack of alternative housing options, these neighborhoods had not made significant progress toward repairs because of their limited access to financial recovery resources. Hazards challenge us to reconsider our safety measures, leaving key stakeholders to reduce risks and thereby curtailing vulnerability. When addressing risks, college students and households might have different approaches and views.

Person-relative-to-event theory indicates that differences in exposure, experience, and demographic factors shape risk perceptions and influence hazard adjustments. To test this theory, this study uses survey data collected from households and college students in Oklahoma, exploring their responses to earthquakes across the state. Our results show some interesting findings across both populations, and considerable differences between the student and household samples.

The results indicate that households have higher levels of hazard intrusiveness and risk perceptions. To capture how residents are adjusting to the earthquake risk, the survey also asks respondents to report their intention of adopting 12 earthquake hazard adjustment actions.

Among these items, five of them show significant differences between the two samples. We find that households are more interested in undertaking these activities to mitigate their earthquake risk. Curiously enough, students are more likely to believe that state government will lessen the risk of earthquakes. These findings suggest that, while students are considered a vulnerable population, they offload responsibility for adjusting to the risk to the state government. In addition, students are more optimistic about earthquake hazards and believe state government will lessen the risk in the next few years.

This study examines the role of social capital on tornado resilience among international students at a university located in tornado alley. International students were recruited to participate in semi-standardized interviews to gain an in-depth understanding of their knowledge and experience with tornadoes, as well as the forms of social capital they depend on for tornado information and warnings. The results of this study illustrate the importance of social capital for international students and its role in tornado resilience. The result suggest that while international students may lack tornado knowledge or experience, the bonding, bridging, and linking of social capital afforded to them contributes directly to their risk perception and resilience.

This study addresses a gap in the current research on tornado resilience at universities and may support these institutions in developing a culture of tornado resilience among international students. Failures in organizational culture, however, can result in operational collapse, misdirected or misaligned responders, delayed or deficient decision-making, or other response issues that negatively affect response operations.

When considering how to improve emergency response, more focus is needed on organizational culture and how leadership and decision-making can influence organizational performance. To explore this issue, we used organizational theory to develop a valid and reliable survey designed for use in fire services.

This included two pilot studies with eight focus groups with firefighters, factor analyses, and reliability analyses. To date, this instrument has been deployed to three separate fire departments, garnering 1, responses, with more departments scheduled to participate. The instrument measures 20 concepts related to leadership, decision-making, and organizational culture.

Results suggest that there are strong negative perceptions across the three departments centering on communication with senior leadership, perceived cohesiveness of senior leadership, perceived unfair processes and procedures, a lack of strong and shared values, and a lack of dedication to career development.

Future research will explore the relationships between organizational effectiveness, commitment, satisfaction, and trust in leadership and improved organizational leadership, effectiveness, and operations.

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Hurricanes Irma and Michael knocked out power for 6. Without moderately cooled environments, the risk for adverse heat-related health outcomes increases, particularly for the elderly. This research, initiated with funding from the Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Grant Program, assessed the role of governance in reducing exposure to heat stress in Florida nursing homes.

Community-friendly summaries of emergency power plans from facilities affected by Hurricanes and Matthew were utilized to identify compliance dates and the extent of emergency power supplied at each facility. Records from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration were assessed to establish a timeline of compliance for facilities across the state. Hundreds of facilities had delays implementing required improvements, regardless of their past hurricane experience.

The opportunity to expand beyond the required emergency power supplies to include other life-sustaining equipment was missed for many facilities. Deadlines and extensions set to address public fears did not consider the availability of generators, technicians, and inspectors. In order for reforms to be comprehensive and reduce compliance delays, requirements and industry-specific resources should be carefully considered and planned in advance of legislative action.

This study investigates the spatial and temporal patterns of the April 27, , tornado outbreak in Central Alabama. The Super Outbreak was the largest, most costly, and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks ever recorded in the United States. In this study, we examine 29 documented tornado tracks total data points in Central Alabama and reveal findings related to complex topography and its effects on tornado intensity. The case study on the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado shows that heavy damages occurred at relatively lower elevations and, in contrast to suggestions from other studies that tornadoes divert from their original path in hilly terrain, we found little or no diversion based on the tornado track.

Additionally, the temporal trends of this particular outbreak are consistent with evidence from other studies that show a small peak in nocturnal tornado activity in the southeastern United States. The findings from this research may be useful to the emergency management community, planners, and the weather enterprise because they indicate the variation of vulnerability over space and time in the context of natural hazards.

Earthquake alerts on estimated fatalities and economic losses from the U. With an increasing user community comes an unprecedented expectation that PAGER will function correctly immediately and continuously. However, initial alerts by PAGER within minutes following an earthquake include several large uncertainties, namely initial estimates on location and depth, which can affect the severity of estimated shaking, as well as loss model uncertainties. The framework accounts for uncertainties associated with the early fatality reports, as well as model-related uncertainties, in order to improve the overall impact forecast.

The updating appears to improve the loss estimate and alert level to the correct level within the first 24 hours, even when the initial estimation from PAGER is assumed to be off by two orders of magnitude. Such updating of loss estimates is critical for agencies such as the U.

Agency for International Development and the Office of U. Foreign Disaster Assistance in devising timely and effective response strategies. This study evaluates the existing standard design snow load for buildings and performs cause analysis for a gymnasium collapse due to snowfall. Frequency analysis was used to estimate the year snowfall design snowfall , and snow load maps for dry snow and wet snow were derived considering their respective unit weights.

In Korea, dry snowfall generally occurs from November to January, while wet snowfall typically occurs from February to April. A comparison was performed between the current standard design snow load set by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport MOLIT and the proposed design snow load estimated in this study. At the time of the accident, the height of the snowfall was 0. The results show that the newly developed snow load map is expected to be useful in the design of building structures against heavy and wet snow loading, and a proposed design snow load for building design that considers the unit weight of wet snow in the southeastern part of Korea where the highest snowfall occurs during spring season would be valuable.

How Accurate are Disaster Loss Data? The Case of U.S. Flood Damage

The August tailings pond spill at the Buenavista del Cobre mine in Cananea, Mexico brought life in the Sonora River region to a virtual standstill. The only exception was the water trucks delivering clean water daily to thousands of people in the seven municipalities along the river. As a follow up to a Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Grant, the research team went to the area at approximately 8 and 26 months after the spill.

A quarter of people felt that there were no good information sources, while another quarter thought that media sources were the most reliable. More than 80 percent of interviewees said that the people they had specifically talked to were good sources of information. A quarter of interviewees thought the government was the least reliable source of information. It was most commonly reported that interviewees talked about the spill with friends, although respondents reported speaking with a broader set of people e.

Overall, there was a general distrust of information regarding the spill, particularly from official sources. People tended to trust the information they received from close relationships more. Evacuation is frequently used by emergency managers and other officials as part of an overall approach to reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with hurricane landfall. In this study, the evacuation shelter capacity of the Houston-Galveston metropolitan statistical area MSA was spatially assessed, and shelter deficits in the region were estimated.

These data provide essential information needed to eliminate shelter deficits and ensure successful evacuation during future storms. Shelter deficits were estimated in four ways: aggregate deficit for the Houston-Galveston MSA, evacuation zip-zone, county, and distance or radii of evacuation zip-zone. Evacuation shelters were disproportionately distributed in the region, with lower capacity shelters clustered closer to evacuation zip-zones 50 miles from the coastal zip-zone , and higher capacity shelters clustered farther away from the zones miles from the coastal zip-zone.

To reduce morbidity and mortality associated with future hurricanes in the Houston-Galveston MSA, authorities should consider the development and implementation of policies that would improve the evacuation shelter capacity of the region. Eliminating shelter deficits, which has been done successfully in the state of Florida, is an essential element of protecting the public from hurricane impacts.

Repeated exposure to hurricanes, tropical storms, and other natural disasters impacts the mental and physical health of populations living along the highly vulnerable U. Gulf Coast. In this study, the self-rated physical and mental health of Gulf Coast residents was estimated, and factors associated with differences in self-rated health were identified.

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Responses were scored using the algorithm recommended by Quality Metric to calculate mental component summary scores MCS and physical component summary scores PCS. Multivariate linear regression models were fitted to identify predictors of self-rated physical and mental health among residents. Residents of U. Gulf Coast states have poorer self-rated physical and mental health compared to the U. Findings indicate that residents of U. Gulf Coast states have poorer self-rated health compared to national standards, which may have practical implications for hurricane-associated physical and mental health services planning and delivery.

Post-disaster housing recovery is an important indicator of individual recovery after disasters. Without the reestablishment of housing, normal activities cannot be carried out, and all dimensions of recovery are delayed. While many studies have shown that social vulnerabilities are critical predictors of housing recovery, only a few studies have used longitudinal data. A study by Peacock et al. The current study used temporary housing residency as the criterion variable and aimed to demonstrate how pre-disaster social vulnerability variables affected length of temporary housing residency after the Great East Japan Earthquake GEJE.

This study used two sets of population recovery data. These data were integrated, and survival analyses were conducted. These analyses clarified relationships between the Life Recovery Survey social vulnerability variables and the length of stay in temporary housing. The results showed that vulnerable households, such as those with smaller family sizes, those living in rental housing dwellings before GEJE , and unskilled laborers stayed a significantly longer time in temporary housing.

These results imply the necessity of pre- and immediate post-disaster housing recovery planning for these identified vulnerable populations. Post-disaster recovery is an unequal process—some segments of a community recover quickly, whereas others lag behind because of pre-existing social inequalities. Social vulnerability acknowledges that social structures shape disaster vulnerabilities and recovery outcomes. Public housing residents are among the socially vulnerable groups that rebound slowly in the aftermath of disasters because of their housing tenure, limited access to recovery funding resources, and limited voices in recovery planning.

We examined the recovery of public housing units in Lumberton, North Carolina, following Hurricane Matthew flooding in to understand how funding sources, plans, and policies affect recovery outcomes. This research is part of a larger, interdisciplinary, recovery-based field study conducted by the Center of Excellence on Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning with collaborators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Lumberton is a racially and socioeconomically diverse community, with public housing units. Many of these units were impacted by the flooding, which displaced tenants. Two years after the floods, of damaged public housing units are either not repaired or abandoned. Using field notes, recovery resources, household dislocation, and in-depth interviews with local authorities and residents, we investigate the impact of funding resources and policies on the recovery outcome of this community. Findings show that limited financial resources, changes in the state recovery priorities, dependence on governmental support, and bureaucratic funding allocation processes resulted in delays in the recovery of public housing developments.

This study conducted a risk assessment and risk classification for heavy rain damage in the region, and then developed a prediction function for heavy rain damage by risk class. A risk index of heavy rain damage using PSR and DPSIR models was developed for the risk assessment, and risk classes identified as colored zones were obtained according to the index.

Multiple regression analysis, principal component regression analysis, and artificial neural networks ANN were applied to develop the prediction function of heavy rain damage. In order to evaluate the prediction performance of the prediction function, we divided heavy rain damage data into a learning section, from to , and an evaluation section, from to Successful prediction of heavy rain damage based on such a prediction function could be very helpful for disaster preparedness and management.

The aim of this study is to develop a heavy rain damage prediction function that can be helpful in preparing for and recovering from localized heavy rain disasters. We collected heavy rain damage as the dependent variable and hourly rainfall data as an independent variable. In addition, we classified damage data into four categories according to damage scale and obtained various rainfall variables with different durations.

We applied regression models, machine learning decision tree, random forest, support vector machine , and deep learning deep neural network techniques to develop a categorical heavy rain damage prediction function. To verify, we used accuracy and the F1-score, which are classification performance evaluation indicators. We then selected the model with the highest prediction performance as the final model. The best prediction performance model was the heavy rain damage prediction function using a deep neural network with a deep learning technique accuracy 75 percent; F1-score 38 percent.

These outcomes could be useful for disaster preparedness, recovery, and management. This advisory information is given to the public when the maximum rainfall exceeds 60 mm over a three-hour-duration. However, this information may have different meaning according to the region. In this study, we consider the regional characteristics of damage and rainfall.

To do this, we define damage and hourly rainfall data using the Hazard-Triggering Rainfall. One to hour-duration rainfall variables in a region is obtained and the variables are reduced to one principal component PC for analysis. Then, the frequency of the PC score is obtained in each class interval, and the probability that damage will occur is estimated for each class. The Hazard-Triggering Rainfall is defined as the PC score, which has the damage probability of 50 percent. We divide the data into groups based on a learning time period to and evaluation time period to Ten local governments were selected for testing the performance of the Hazard-Triggering Rainfall using a F1-score.

Therefore, Hazard-Triggering Rainfall may be more suitable for the information in this case study. We also consider that the regional characteristics of damage and rainfall may need to include more properties of the region in future studies. This poster will provide a summary of articles that were published in a special issue of Southern Economic Journal. Ahmadiani et al. Frimpong et al. Bakkensen et al. Koning et al.

In the concluding article, Miller et al. The authors argue that the two initial goals of NFIP were to 1 shift risk away from the tax payer and onto the those residents who choose to locate within a flood risk area, and 2 provide universally available and affordable flood insurance options can be achieved by adopting risk-based pricing in tandem with subsidization of low-income households. Droughts are often responsible for greater damages than other natural disasters. The U. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has identified drought events as some of the most serious natural disasters ever observed and has noted that rising temperatures and precipitation amounts due to climate change could increase damage from droughts, as well as their direct and indirect impacts.

The present study aims to develop estimation equations of drought damage for each continent by classifying the global drought damage data in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. From to , droughts occurred in Africa, in the Americas, in Asia, 45 in Europe, and 30 in Oceania, respectively, for a total of drought events. Many casualties were attributed to these droughts, including , in Africa, 77 in the Americas, 9,, in Asia, 1,, in Europe, and in Oceania, for a total of 11,, deaths. Based on a classification by continents, this study develops an estimation equation considering drought damage and casualties.

Stormwater management infrastructure is designed to mitigate flooding and influences the flood exposure of an area e. However, current research is limited by the types of infrastructure considered. To fill the gap, this study examines the distribution of stormwater management infrastructure across diverse neighborhoods in the city of Houston, Texas, with an environmental justice framework. Specifically, we examine the structure of different types of infrastructure, including roadside open ditches and buried grey infrastructure. Then, we use bivariate correlations and regression to analyze the distribution of infrastructure across neighborhoods block groups.

We hypothesize that socially vulnerable neighborhoods have more open ditch systems and less grey infrastructure for stormwater management when controlling for density. Preliminary results support the hypothesis and unequal distribution of stormwater management infrastructure in Houston. Communities in Colorado are increasingly experiencing disruptions from fire, flood, drought, and extreme heat. With this rise in hazardous events, there is a pressing need for communities to increase their resilience.

An interdisciplinary team from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Education and Outreach Program is developing and implementing an innovative, action-oriented youth engagement project that targets rural Colorado students, teachers, and communities. Our engagement model empowers youth to envision community resilience through immersive scenario-based role-play based on a solid understanding of the relevant science; learn about natural hazards through engaging, Colorado-focused lessons; initiate conversations about hazard preparedness and responses from within communities; and develop and implement student-led resilience action projects.

The project team is developing instructional materials for middle and high school students: four lesson plans focused on different hazards fire, flood, drought, extreme heat , four complementary scenario-based role-play games with a focus on youth empowerment, and a teacher workshop based on these materials.

Each school implementation follows a sequence in which the lesson plan activities are conducted first, followed by a scenario-based role-play game and reflection. Building on their experience with the game, students develop resilience strategies for their communities and present those at a community Resilience Expo. Over the course of the three-year program, the project activities will train and support teachers, engage over students, and foster 11 Resilience Expo events across Colorado, from primarily rural communities. The instructional units and the games will be used in classrooms with over students.

During the disaster recovery process, it is challenging to continuously assess community health and well-being. Near real-time data of the fitness activity level throughout a community can be a valuable source for assessing community recovery and for building capacity for community resilience. This exploratory study used cycling and running activity records from a personal fitness monitoring app as a proxy for community health and wellbeing.

This large-scale data enabled us to assess the post-Hurricane Harvey recovery of the fitness activity level throughout Harris County, Texas. The data revealed geospatial patterns of fitness activity level recovery, including how long it took for an affected region's fitness activity level to return to the pre-Harvey level. This study highlighted the need for more in-depth studies on the validity and limitations of such data in assessing community health and wellbeing while demonstrating its value in supporting a near real-time, scalable method to monitor the recovery of affected communities.

In the past decade, overwhelming amounts of building damage data have become available after major earthquakes, ranging from engineering models, crowdsourced estimates, and remote sensing maps. However, this data has highly variable quality, making it difficult for stakeholders to trust and use it as a basis for crucial recovery funding decisions. This project aims to reduce the mental effort of sifting through post-disaster damage data by creating a data fusion framework that stakeholders can use to combine multiple sources of damage data into a single estimate of damage.

Using building damage data collected after the Nepal earthquake, we show that the data fusion framework results in a more accurate damage map than a single damage data source.

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  • Post-disaster, stakeholders can use damage maps from this data fusion framework for post-disaster needs assessments, where they often face a trade-off between accuracy and data collection speed. As the frequency and intensity of natural disasters increases, the threat of property damage also rises, thereby exacerbating the total cost of damage, the share of homeowners who seek disaster assistance, and the amount of assistance requested. Limited funds for disaster assistance, combined with rising demand for such funds, dictates a broader understanding of the long-term mobility decisions of homeowners affected by disasters.

    Funded by a Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Grant, the authors conducted 15 interviews with homeowners in Lumberton, North Carolina, who received disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for property elevation, reconstruction, or acquisition following Hurricane Matthew. The authors find that wealthier homeowners are more likely to choose acquisition than either elevation or reconstruction, while socially vulnerable homeowners expressed concerns about the affordability of relocation.

    Research outcomes can inform disaster recovery policy of factors that shape the mobility decisions of homeowners affected by natural disasters and changes in the perceptions of those decisions in the wake of increasingly frequent recurrent disasters. Many countries, including Taiwan, face new emergency management challenges because of an aging population. Understanding the emergency behavior of the institutions is a foundation for risk reduction. This study aims to examine the flood response characteristics of the institutions to provide a scientific foundation for policymaking.

    The survey collected about responses from 1, facilities. Approximately 25 percent of the institutions are located in flood-prone areas. The emergency plan qualities and emergency exercise frequencies seem to be adequate, but the real capabilities still need to be verified. The results also show that the institutions tend not to adopt precautionary evacuation because of operational continuity and cost considerations.

    This study suggests that the government should strengthen the institutional efforts for disaster preparedness and reduce the obstacles to evacuation. Heavy rainfall associated with Hurricane Maria triggered over 40, landslides on the island of Puerto Rico. Additionally, the effects and impact of a single hazard event, as in the case of volcanoes and earthquakes, include different types of impacts, each having different severities and each affecting different locations.

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    The MHM is an excellent tool to create an awareness in mitigating multiple hazards. It becomes a comprehensive analytical tool for assessing vulnerability and risk, especially when combined with the mapping of critical facilities as discussed in Chapter 7. The adoption of a multiple hazard mitigation strategy also has several implications in emergency preparedness planning. For example, it provides a more equitable basis for allocating disaster planning funds; stimulates the use of more efficient, integrated emergency preparedness response and recovery procedures; and promotes the creation of cooperative agreements to involve all relevant agencies and interested groups: It must be emphasized that the MHM will not meet the site-specific and hazard-specific needs of project engineering design activities.

    The effective use of natural hazard information to avoid damage or to reduce loss requires a considerable effort on the part of both the producers and the users of the information. Unless the scientific and engineering information is translated for the layman, the effective user community is limited to other scientists and engineers. If the users do not become proficient in interpreting and applying technical information, the information is likely to be misused or even neglected in the development planning process.

    Studies by Kockelman , , on the use of earth-science information by city, county, and regional planners and decision-makers in the San Francisco Bay region of the United States show that the most effective use of hazard information is achieved when maps clearly depict the likelihood of occurrence, location, and severity. Furthermore, hazard reduction was more likely when agencies had scientists or engineers on their staffs. Their skills permitted a broader use of the technical information, and the agencies were able to make interpretations of the information for their own purposes.

    Translated Information 2. Sources and Compiling Information 3. A prerequisite to compiling individual hazards information onto one map is obtaining or creating a base map upon which to place this information. Characteristics and examples of such base maps are discussed in the next section, on map format. The base map is usually selected during the preliminary mission; the team needs only to select a scale appropriate to the study area. This initial map also may serve as an index to more detailed hazard maps. Several base maps at different scales may be used, depending upon the final study area or areas and the predominating scale of the individual hazard maps.

    The most detailed individual hazard map may be selected as the base if it provides adequate geographic orientation. The base map used for an MHM can be the same as that used for the critical facilities map described in Chapter 7. Translated Information Much hazard information will be in the form of scientific investigations into the process and prediction of a potentially hazardous event and observations of the impact of past events Du Bois, , such as volcano inventories and records of flood crest elevations.

    It is often in forms other than maps. This information, although a prerequisite to an MHM, is not readily understood by the layman. It must be "translated" for planners and decision-makers and placed on maps. Successful translation must be in a format that a planning team can understand.

    But even more important, the information must be perceived as explaining a hazard that may adversely affect life, property, or socioeconomic activities. This can be accomplished by providing three elements-location, likelihood of occurrence frequency or return period , and severity. A planner or decision-maker evaluating a specific land use, structure, or socioeconomic activity is not usually interested in a potential event whose 1 occurrence is not expected for a very long time, 2 location is not known, or 3 size or effect is not great.

    These elements vary with the phenomenon, for example: - Coastal areas annually exposed to winds of specific velocity and storm surges of specific runups. Common reduction or mitigation techniques can be recommended for the same portion of the study area. Inadequate or missing hazard information location, severity, or frequency can be more easily identified. Study areas can be divided into sub-areas requiring more information, additional assessments, or specific reduction techniques.

    Figure illustrates the types of information needed.


    All three elements may not be available for all hazards. In compiling an MHM it is just as important to know what is missing. More information can be sought or prepared, but at least those development and investment decisions being based on less than adequate information should be noted.

    It is also important to distinguish between a hazard that can be defined as not present versus one whose presence cannot be properly evaluated because of limited information. For example, a conservative approach to development because of "inadequate" hazard information can be counterproductive over time. If the planner's or decision-maker's response to an "exaggerated" potential hazard is to avoid the area or recommend expensive resistive design, a credibility problem will occur when a "realistic" potential hazard is discovered.

    Sources and Compiling Information There is a vast array of sources of hazard information, including various public and private libraries, offices and reference centers at international, national, regional, and community levels. These entities may be concerned with infrastructure, community facilities, economic development, resource exploration, land use planning, emergency preparedness, geotechnical studies, disaster response, and many other activities.

    Sometimes these sources coordinate their compiling of hazard information, but it cannot always be expected. Many of the users of development planning information are also compilers of natural hazard information. Tinsley and Hollander have compiled a list of governmental earth-science agencies and selected major international organizations whose functions are similar to those of the U. Geological Survey. Some hazard information can be extracted or inferred from photographic, topographic, geologic, hydrologic, climatologic, and soils information already prepared for settled regions.

    Chapter 10 of this primer, on landslide hazard mapping, suggests local authorities responsible for public works, forestry, and agricultural activities as being valuable sources of information because of their familiarity with past problems. The Organization of American States in its casebook on physical resource investigation for environmental development cites suggestions for obtaining information on hazards.

    These include existing resource surveys; aerial photography; personal reconnaissance; exploratory, reconnaissance, semi-detailed, and detailed surveys; aerial photography, orthophotos, and photogrammetric mapping; geologic surveys; flood studies; and soil erosion surveys. Hazard information may also be obtained from remote sensing data see Chapter 4. Various sources of information on floods, desertification, earthquakes, landslides, and other natural hazards are given in Appendix A and Chapters 8 through The overview of natural hazards by Bender for the St.

    Kitts and Nevis project provides an example of a preliminary evaluation of available hazard information based on readily available information. The Santiago-Mira study OAS, a demonstrates the importance of getting a "quick picture of the region's development problems. This involved sending an 'advance man' to the study area to determine the principal issues and identify experienced local technicians.

    Because of the cost and time in compiling information to make an MHM, consideration should be given to collaborating with other users. Timing The collection of general hazard information began years ago as part of development assistance agency programs. Within current OAS project procedures, the collection of specific hazard information begins when a member country makes a formal request for technical assistance and continues through the integrated development planning process see Chapter 1.

    Sending a two-person team to the field for two weeks for a quick data collection effort represents a relatively low-cost method for initiating collection of specific natural hazard information OAS, a. During the preliminary mission, hazard information collection can be accomplished by: - Undertaking field travel and "overflights" of the study area. During subsequent study stages, the general criteria for data collection should emphasize: - Striving for the same level of detail.

    Base Map 2. Scale and Coverage 3. Hazards to be Shown 4. Types of Symbols. Maps are the most effective way to convey actual and relative location. Maps can be simply defined as flat geographic portrayals of information through the use of symbols. A good introduction to types and content of maps, data overlays and extractions, and land use and land cover mapping may be seen in the Coastal Mapping Handbook Ellis, Such approaches help the MHM not just convey that natural hazards exist, but also to note their location, severity, and likelihood of occurrence in an accurate, clear, and convenient way.

    The area covered, scale, detail, hazards shown, and format of a MHM can range widely: - World: ,, - Continent: ,,, ,, - Region: ,, ,, ,, , - Community or settlement: ,, , - Building sites: ,, , It has been said that the usefulness of a map is in its omissions. Except for its orientation information roads, rivers, coastlines, place names the map should be as uncluttered and stripped down as possible.

    Natural hazards are the information to be emphasized. Discussion of the important aspects of MHM follows: base map, scale and coverage, hazards to be shown, and types of symbols to be used. References are made to nine examples Figures through which may appear deceptively simple. Two are in color, one is computer-generated, one shows only two hazards while others show many, some stand alone while others are accompanied by extensive explanations.

    Base Map Creating a base map from scratch is a difficult and time-consuming task; therefore, it is desirable to use an existing map or controlled photograph as a base. An adequate base map must be planimetric, that is, a representation of information on a plane in true geographic relationship and with measurable horizontal distances; and must have sufficient geographic reference information to orient the user to the location of the hazard. The top of a map is usually oriented to the north, but not always. Hence, a "north arrow" on each map sheet is mandatory.

    Discussion of geographic referencing systems such as longitude and latitude, state plane coordinate systems, or Universal Transverse Mercator UTM grid systems is beyond the scope of this chapter. Many different projections are suitable and an indication of the map projection used as well as an insert map showing the location of the study area is very helpful. Figures through are all planimetric maps, and each has sufficient reference information for the scale and area covered. For example, the map of the world Figure shows national boundaries and major cities; other maps show highways and rivers; some even show local street names and building site boundaries Figure Sometimes a base map is available that shows hypsography, that is, elevations of land above sea level Figure These maps are sometimes called "topographic" or "contour line" maps.

    The elevation and contour information can be interpreted to help present the location and severity of flood, landslide, fault rupture, hurricane, and other potential hazards. Cadastral property ownership boundary maps can be excellent base maps, although they often have a scale larger than is needed for regional development planning. Controlled aerial photographs, photo maps, radar images, and satellite photography can also be used for base maps.

    Scale and Coverage Map scale is the measure of reduction in size from the actual environment to that portrayed on the map. The scale can be expressed as a ratio between the map distance and the actual distance. For example, the scale on Figure is , which means that one centimeter on the map equals , centimeters or 5, meters or 5 kilometers on the ground.

    Large-scale maps show less detail for a large area. Larger scales are more common for regional development planning , through ,; Figures through , and community development plans , through ,; Figures and The scale selected will depend upon the map's purpose. There are no best scales, only more appropriate ones to coincide with planning requirements. The scale used for an MHM is dependent upon not only the hazard information to be shown but also upon the scale of the base map.

    If a choice of scales is available, then the following factors become important in making the selection: - Number of hazards to be shown. Often the individual hazard maps to be used are at different scales. This may require an enlargement or reduction to the scale of the base map selected. Use of controlled photographic or computer mapping methods makes this process easy and accurate.

    Hazards to be Shown Any number of hazards can be shown, depending upon scale, symbols, and coverage chosen. On a one-sheet topographic base map Figure , only flood and landslide hazards are shown. On the 5-sheet map Figure , several hazards and thirteen zones of geologic materials are shown. This dense hazard information is then supplemented by two sheets of explanations. To avoid overcrowding, hazards can be combined manually Figure , or by computer Figure , and into regulatory zones see Chapter 7.

    Types of Symbols Everything shown on an MHM as well as the base map is a symbol representing reality. Some symbols may convey a sense of the hazard Figure ; others are totally abstract coastal hazards in Figure Some symbols represent derived combinations of hazards geologic problem index in Figure or hazards combined for ease of reading see Chapter 7. Likelihood of occurrence or frequency can be shown by isolines to represent the number of thunderstorm days per year Figure or to separate areas of landslide frequency Figure Areas have been used to show maximum seismic intensity in 50 years and the number of tropical storms and cyclones per year Figure , and flooding in years Figure Location can be shown through the use of basic geometric symbols-a point, a line, or an area.

    For example, points have been used to show tornadoes and volcanoes Figure ; lines have been used to show preferred tracks of tropical storms Figure , fault rupture Figures and , or tsunamis Figure ; and areas have been used to show flooding, landslides, or erosion zones Figures and