13B.6 Fine-scale Assessment of Mobile Home Tornado Vulnerability in the Central and Southeast U.S.

Thursday, 25 October 2018: 3:15 PM
Pinnacle AB (Stoweflake Mountain Resort )
Stephen M. Strader, Villanova Univ., Villanova, PA; and W. S. Ashley

Research has illustrated that tornado disaster potential and impact severity are controlled by hazard risk and underlying physical and social vulnerabilities. Previous vulnerability studies have suggested that an important driver of disaster consequence is the type of housing impacted by tornadic winds. This study employs a Monte Carlo tornado simulation tool, mobile home location information derived from fine-scale, land-parcel data, and census enumerations of socioeconomic vulnerability factors to assess the tornado impact probability for one of the most wind hazard-susceptible demographics in the U.S.—mobile home residents. Comparative analyses between Alabama and Kansas are employed to highlight regional (i.e., Southeast vs. Great Plains) differences in tornado-mobile home risk, exposure, and vulnerability. Tornado-mobile home impact potential is 4.5 times (350%) greater in Alabama than in Kansas because Alabama, in comparison to Kansas, is represented by 1) a greater number of mobile homes and 2) a more sprawling mobile home distribution. Findings reveal that Mid-South’s mobile home residents are one of the most socioeconomically and demographically marginalized populations in the U.S. are more susceptible to tornado impact and death than illustrated in prior research. Policy makers, engineers, and members of Integrated Warning Teams (i.e., National Weather Service, media, emergency managers, and first responders) should use these findings to initiate a dialogue and construct interdisciplinary actions aimed improving societal and individual resilience before, during, and after hazardous weather events.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner