ABSTRACT

Assessing the Vulnerability of the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Coastal Storms Using an On-Line GIS-Based Coastal Risk Atlas   [open pdf - 553KB]

"Natural disaster losses in the U.S. have been estimated to be between $10 billion and $50 billion annually, with an average cost from a single major disaster estimated at approximately $500 million. One of the primary factors contributing to the rise in disaster losses is the stead y increase in the population of high-risk areas, such as coastal areas. The population in coastal counties represents more than half of the U.S. population, but occupies only about one-quarter of the total land area. Coastal areas are particularly susceptible to the catastrophic impacts of hazards. Between 1992 and 1997, nearly three-quarters of the federally declared disasters in the U.S. occurred in coastal states or territories. Efforts to mitigate the effects of coastal hazards can be complicated by insufficient information concerning coastal vulnerability. Vulnerability factors include the geologic nature of the coast, the patterns and characteristics of the built environment, and socio-economic conditions. Providing a better understanding of these factors to allow communities to undertake the most appropriate mitigation strategies provides the rational for developing the Coastal Risk Atlas (CRA). [...] This paper documents the development o f the CRA and its application in the pilot areas."

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