WIT Press

Development Of A Spatially Explicit Vulnerability-resilience Model For Community Level Hazard Mitigation Enhancement


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

13 - 24




1,033 kb


T. G. Frazier, C. M. Thompson & R. J. Dezzani


Community vulnerability to coastal hazards can be difficult to analyze at a local level without proper modeling techniques. Societal assets and human populations are dispersed unequally across landscapes, causing vulnerability to vary from one community to another. A common method of quantifying vulnerability has developed in the form of vulnerability indexes, typically conducted at the county scale. These indexes attempt to measure community vulnerability by assessing exposure of traditional vulnerability indicators. Sensitivity and adaptive capacity analyses are excluded from these assessments, creating a less than holistic vulnerability analysis. Traditional vulnerability assessments also neglect the inclusion of place-specific differentially weighted indicators, and the effects of spatial autocorrelation. These limitations make indexes less effective for community level analysis. In response to these challenges, a resilience index that incorporates place, spatial, and scale specific indicators that are more appropriate for community level analysis was developed. The model developed in this research determines varying distributions of vulnerability across the study region using several socioeconomic, spatial and place specific indicators. Spatial statistics (such as spatial autocorrelation techniques) and multivariate techniques (such as factor analysis) were employed to determine the differential influence of each vulnerability and adaptive capacity indicator. The results of the model enable decision makers to target mitigation efforts toward place-specific, differentially weighted indicators that most impact vulnerability at the community level. The model also depicts that traditional vulnerability indicators are differentially impactful at varying spatial scales. Keywords: vulnerability, resilience, coastal hazards, disaster management.


vulnerability, resilience, coastal hazards, disaster management