Princeton students reveal U.S.'s natural hazard risk

June 07, 2002

For the first time, natural hazard data from across the entire United States has been combined into a comprehensive hazard map revealing the areas most at risk for natural hazards. The map was prepared by Princeton University geoscience students in a course taught by Gregory van der Vink, Director of Planning for Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. The poster, entitled "U.S. Vulnerability to Natural Disasters," was presented at the recent American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, DC.

"This is the first time that these individual hazards have been collected together to demonstrate the natural hazard risks for the entire U.S.," says van der Vink, "The students realized that to reduce the costs on natural disasters, we need to demonstrate that these are not random events and we need to increase awareness about the predictable consequences of high-risk land-use."

The hazard map includes information from all fifty states about flooding, earthquakes, tornados, hurricane tracks, population growth, and the costs of these events.

"We found that the cost of natural hazard events was driven by large events such as hurricane Andrew and the Northridge earthquake," says van der Vink, "We also noticed a 30-year east to west oscillation in hurricane tracks, which means according to our data, hurricane tracks may be moving more east and north in the coming years."

While some of the data were collected by previous classes, the majority of the data were gathered during the Fall semester. The data indicated that the costs of disasters are increasing due to increases in population and wealth density in disaster prone areas.

The map was created for the Congressional Hazards Caucus. The Congressional Natural Hazards Caucus is interested in disseminating this information throughout the U.S. in order to help states at higher risk to receive the necessary funds to mitigate against future disasters.
-end-
For more information contact:
Emilie Lorditch
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3029
elorditc@aip.org

Expert:
Gregory van der Vink
Director of Planning
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
202-682-2220
gvdv@iris.edu

American Institute of Physics

Related Natural Disasters Articles from Brightsurf:

Natural disasters must be unusual or deadly to prompt local climate policy change
Natural disasters alone are not enough to motivate local communities to engage in climate change mitigation or adaptation, a new study from Oregon State University found.

When natural disasters strike locally, urban networks spread the damage globally
Disasters that occur in one place can trigger costs in cities across the world due to the interconnectedness of the global urban trade network.

Model can predict hospital resilience for natural disasters, pandemics
CSU researchers have created a modeling tool that could help cities understand the full functionality and recovery of a healthcare system in the wake of a natural disaster.

Wikipedia, a source of information on natural disasters biased towards rich countries
This is the result of a study led by Valerio Lorini, a PhD student on the ICT programme, led by Carlos Castillo, coordinator of the Web Science and Social Computing group, with Javier Rando, a student at UPF doing the bachelor's degree in Mathematical Engineering in Data Science, focusing on flooding as a case study.

Costs of natural disasters are increasing at the high end
While the economic cost of natural disasters has not increased much on average, averages can be deceptive.

When natural disasters strike, men and women respond differently
Women tend to take cover or prepare to evacuate sooner, but often have trouble convincing the men in their life to do so, suggests a new study exploring how gender influences disaster response.

Earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters obey same mathematical pattern
Researchers from the Centre for Mathematical Research (CRM) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have mathematically described the frequency of several dangerous phenomena according to their size with more precision than ever.

In disasters, Twitter influencers get out-tweeted
A first-of-its-kind study on Twitter use during 5 of the costliest US natural disasters offers potentially life-saving insights.

Organizations with broad social ties help recovering from natural disasters
In order to encourage a wide economic recovery following a natural disaster, communities should think about activating advocacy organizations such as local environmental groups, political organizations and human-rights groups.

Study: Culture strongly influences coping behaviors after natural disasters
Demographic and cultural differences strongly influence the coping styles young people use when they're affected by a natural disaster, and these disparities should be taken into account when providing services to help them recover from these traumatic experiences, University of Illinois social work professors Tara M.

Read More: Natural Disasters News and Natural Disasters Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.