Impact of volcanic hazard notices issued by the United States Geological Survey on neighborhoods in western Washington state

Authors: Vani Singh*, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Economic Geography, Communication
Keywords: Hazards, Natural hazards, Volcanoes, Washington, GIS, economic geography, real estate, USGS, risk perception, geology, volcanology
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 41
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The impact of natural hazard notices on real estate property values in volcanic activity prone regions, like the state of Washington, is an issue that has little research behind it. Scientific agencies such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS), that help to mitigate natural disasters and issue natural hazard warnings often do not, if at all, interact with real estate agencies. The general trend is that natural hazard notices or warnings influence the risk perceptions of those working in the economic sector. Even when a notice does not environmentally affect the region, it causes real estate market values for homes to decline. Therefore, it is important to study and understand the perceptions of natural hazard risks that scientists, real estate appraisers, current and potential homeowners, and the public have.

The methodology will quantitatively analyze how volcanic hazard notices issued by the USGS will affect housing property values in the western half of Washington state using a mix of spatial and non-spatial analytical techniques including creating hazard maps and the hedonic housing price model.

In addition, potential ways to prevent influences of risk perceptions of natural hazards from causing fluctuations in the real estate markets are addressed in this research. This issue is part of a bigger problem of how effective scientific communication about the environment is disseminated to the public.

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