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College of Arts & Sciences
Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute

Social Vulnerability and Place Vulnerability Methods and Application for Corps Planning

Investigator: Susan Cutter (PI)

The Social Vulnerability Index is a valuable tool for policy makers and practitioners. The comparative index illustrates the geographic variation in social vulnerability. It shows where there is uneven capacity for preparedness and response and where resources could be used most effectively to reduce the pre-existing vulnerability. SoVI also is useful as an indicator in determining the differential recovery from disasters.

The initial Corps project demonstrated the utility of social vulnerability mapping at the census tract and block group level for a single Florida county. Once implemented, SoVI was intersected with storm surge inundation areas and 100-year floodplains to illustrate where and what contributed the most (social or hazard exposure) to the observed intra-county patterns. The expanded project will develop procedures for applying SoVI and place vulnerability analyses (PV) to Corps civil works and emergency management (EM) planning through improvements in SoVI.

SoVI Mapping

Handbook on Applying “Other Social Effects” Factors in Corps of Engineers Water Resources Planning , Technical Report by Dr. Mark Dunning & CDM for the Institute for Water Resources, US Army Corps of Engineers, July 2008.