S201 Changes in the U.S. Hurricane Disaster Landscape: The Relationship between Risk and Exposure

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Ashley Irizarry, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL; and W. S. Ashley

Demographic transition and development can change vulnerability and exposure, altering the risk for weather disaster. This research appraises how residential built-environment growth influences coastal exposure and, moreover, how this fundamental component of vulnerability contributes to hurricane impact and disaster potential. Both historical and projected change in hurricane exposure for a set of high-risk metropolitan regions along the U.S Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are assessed. Synthetic hurricane wind swaths are generated based on contemporary landfalling events and then intersected in a hypothetical framework with output a high-resolution housing unit density model from 1940 through 2100, with housing unit projections driven by IPCC storylines. The number of housing units affected by swath severity are used as a metric to assess how the hurricane disaster landscape has changed and how it is forecast to evolve. The contemplation and measurement of potential impact will assist communities with mitigation practices, bridging the gap between actual and perceived risk. Results will provide a useful tool for calculating the vulnerability of coastal regions and their metropolitan areas, delivering catastrophe modelers, policy makers, and emergency managers with critical information that can be used to evaluate potential residential effects, mitigate impacts, and build resilience.
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