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College of Arts & Sciences
Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute

Cascading Spatial Impact of Rainfall Extremes on Residents

Lead Investigator: Susan L. Cutter


This project looks at the role of spatial proximity in understanding the perceived and actual risk and impacts from the flooding.  The effort will include a survey of individual households and their decision making and behavior in response to the flooding.  This will be a door to door survey of  approximately 500 directly affected households in Richland and Lexington counties The questions focus on proximity to the flood threat, evacuation behavior, high water extent and timing, flood insurance coverage, and protective actions taken before, during, or after the flood.  We will also ask residents about concerns related to the timeliness of payments, insurance requirements for rebuilding, pre-event mitigation, and the effects of these on their household recovery and rebuilding decisions. These data will be correlated with pre-event spatial data on floodplain delineations, model output on inundation from NOAA’s Flash Flood Potential Index, HAZUS and LiDAR-derived digital elevation models, river gauges, weather station reporting of rainfall amounts, etc. to assess differences between perceived risk (from the residents) and the actual impacts.  



Cutter, Susan L., Christopher T. Emrich, Melanie Gall, and Rachel Reeves, 2017.  Flash flood risk and the paradox of urban development, Natural Hazards Review

Emrich, Christopher T., Jeffery R. Sanderson, and Susan L. Cutter, 2016. The Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI®) as a decision support tool in prioritizing disaster recovery efforts, in Stephen E. Flynn, The South Carolina Deluge: Lessons from a Watershed Disaster, A Center for Resilience Studies AssessmentBoston: Northeastern University, Center for Resilience Studies, pp. 41-51.