Disastrous Hurricanes of Texas: 1965 - 2017

Authors: Melissa Jurrens*, Texas State University - San Marcos
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Texas, Hurricane, Disaster, Presidential, Damage
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


This map is to help people living in, supporting emergency management, or studying Texas to visualize the potential risk of experiencing hurricanes at a certain location, based on the extent of financial loss experienced and the frequency of previous Presidential hurricane disaster declarations. The data I needed to display had two ratio indicators, as well as a spatial element. Hurricanes paths are not affected by the county borders that define the discrete data analyzed, so a symmetrical point symbol that varies in size and hue was chosen. I used perceptually scaled circles, color, and generalization to display information with multiple elements in unison across a spatial environment. Placing the data along a grid in a geographically accurate, but appropriately generalized environment, was essential to the effectiveness of this map for the audience. The total damage figures were adjusted for inflation to equal the dollar in 2017 for each of the 12 hurricanes studied. I used natural breaks to classify the level of damage and the number of disaster declarations for each county into 5 classes. Because Hurricane Rita was declared in every county across the state, I chose to omit occurrences of only 1 declaration to preserve spatial trends. While the frequency of Presidential hurricane disaster declaration was found to be focused in the counties directly along the Gulf of Mexico, the most financially damaging storms were found toward the eastern portions of Texas. These areas may simply be less prepared due to less frequent storm impact.

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