Examining Tornado Vulnerability and Index Validation in Oklahoma Using Components of the Social Vulnerability Index

Authors: Lindsay King*, Oklahoma State University
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: Tornadoes, Natural Hazards, Social Vulnerability
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Identifying socially vulnerable groups is a first step in creating resilient communities and reducing future losses of property and human life. A population’s vulnerability to a hazard is not fixed solely based on their proximity to a dangerous event. Instead, vulnerability to a hazard is the product of the complex combination of the socioeconomic, institutional, and environmental systems that affect a group of people, and the disruption of those systems by a hazardous event. Measurement of social vulnerability is already a focus within the hazards literature, and one area of particularly intensive attention has been the development and application of indices of social vulnerability. These indices are constructed from a set of variables that act as a proxy for measurement. There is an ongoing need to create reliable, useful, and accurate indexes that can inform policymakers and disaster scientists for better decision making at various stages of the disaster cycle. This work seeks to validate two different social vulnerability indicators designed for the state of Oklahoma. The first objective is to replicate the well-established Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) and develop a tornado-specific vulnerability index. The indexes will be compared using rank order comparison of the social vulnerability scores assigned to the Census tracts and spatial analysis. The second objective is to validate the indexes by comparing the spatial distribution of socially vulnerable groups against observed losses.

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