Social Vulnerability and Earthquake Impact Modeling in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IV (Southeast of the U.S.)
Siddique, Sumaiya Tul
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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At the forefront of the natural hazard risk assessment sciences is the assessment of earthquake risk. Countries such as the United States have been targets of extensive earthquake risk assessments to communicate potential damages and loss of life. Few studies, however, have gone beyond the estimation of direct earthquake impacts such as damages to buildings by integrating estimates the socio-economic characteristics of populations. This research seeks to address this missing societal component in earthquake loss modeling using Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV (Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee) as a case study. Social vulnerability and economic losses are modeled respectively by developing a Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) and by integrating the SoVI with probabilistic impact estimates from potential earthquakes within the region. The results of this research highlight the areas of management concern in which high earthquake losses may be coupled with populations that are unlikely to be able to prepare for, respond to, and recover from damaging earthquake events when they occur.