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College of Arts and Sciences


Beach Erosion

Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute

Lives and property can be saved if we can learn what a disaster, like a hurricane, will do before it occurs. The institute studies planning, responses and works to identify trends in natural disasters.

With the onset of climate change, scientists predict more – and more serious – natural disasters.  The Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI) at the University of South Carolina stands ready to help.

Under the direction of the Department of Geography in the College of Arts and Sciences, HVRI is an interdisciplinary research and graduate/undergraduate training center that focuses on the new field of hazard vulnerability science. 

We conduct basic research on hazard vulnerability and resilience, train the next generation of hazard scientists and practitioners, and help improve emergency preparedness, planning, response, and recovery at local, state, national, and international levels.  Partnerships with federal, state, and local emergency managers are an important component of the Institute’s purpose and mission.

Our talented faculty conducts state-of-the-art research on many hazards, particularly on hurricanes – a not uncommon natural disaster in South Carolina.  A current project is helping the State update its 1998 Hurricane Evacuation Study to account for recent demographic changes in the coastal counties, which influence evacuation-timing scenarios, routes, and published maps.

Other faculty research includes an investigation of why some areas along the Mississippi Gulf Coast that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 have recovered more quickly than others, and a reconstruction of hurricane occurrence in the Atlantic Ocean by using British maritime ship logs from the 18th and 19th centuries.  The reconstructed data will help shed light on current hurricane trends.

Our website provides much more information on HVRI.   Please look us over!