About HazardAware

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Funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Gulf Research Program

HazardAware

HazardAware is being developed to support hazard data democratization. Our goal is to enable everyone to access hazard, risk, vulnerability, resilience, and mitigation information so that they can make more informed and safer housing choices and learn how to mitigate hazard losses to their current homes.

HazardAware provides information on natural hazard loss, frequency, and mitigation for residential buildings at a specific address. Using HazardAware can help you increase your understanding about the risks to a specific property, as well as educate property owners and renters on what they can do to reduce their losses from hazard events in the future.

This website includes information about many loss-causing hazards, but highlights hazards that have the most impact at a specific address or within a specific community. Currently, HazardAware can tell users about the historical frequency and loss patterns for various disaster events including: 100-year flooding, flash flooding, tornadoes, hail events, wind events, hot and cold events, winter hazards, droughts, hurricane winds, severe storms, lighting, wildfire and sinkholes. The website also provides information about future flooding linked with sea-level rise, and has a major emphasis on hurricane wind and flooding losses and potential mitigation measures for those hazards.

HazardAware’s historical hazard occurrence data provides information on how frequently each hazard has occurred in the area surrounding a specific address. Our team built this occurrence dataset by looking back at 30 years of past severe weather, drought, fire, and flood data. This data was then used to create an average annual occurrence value so that users would know what to expect for any given location in the Gulf Study Area.

How you can use this website

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HazardAware Project

Problem

In recent decades, Gulf Coast communities have dealt with more frequent and severe impacts from climate sensitive hazards, extreme weather and human-caused disasters. The capacity to recover from these disasters can vary from one community to the next, depending on a range of social, economic, environmental, and other factors. Chronically stressed communities can find the path to recovery particularly difficult.

When choosing where to live or buy a home, people often weigh the quality of the schools, crime rates, cost and property values into their buying equation. Rarely do they think about disaster risk, mostly because there is no easy way to do so. Furthermore, many residents are unaware that the building codes and zoning regulations they expect to protect them in a disaster have likely become outdated as environmental stressors, local development patterns and construction practices have changed over time.

Goal

The goal of the HazardAware project is to help people make smarter housing decisions based on hazard risks and mitigation of those risks. The idea isn’t to limit where people should live based on potential risk, rather to give renters and buyers a more complete picture of potential hazards and what it would take to protect a property against those risks, such as hurricanes, sea rise and sink holes, among other threats. Hazard and risk information is voluminous if you know where to look and understand how to read it, but it can be confusing and time consuming for busy buyers to undertake.

Approach

To help solve this, The New First Line of Defense project team will:

  • Gather hazard and risk information.
  • Analyze past, present, and future threats to homes and communities.
  • Create a rating system, HazardScore, for every parcel of land, community, county and state in the gulf region.
  • Attempt to gain a better understanding of how people access and use risk information to make housing location and mitigation decisions.
  • Work to build tools to benefit people of every socio-economic class.
  • Provide information on what people can do to mitigate natural hazards with no $$ and small investments in time, not only focusing on often costly mitigation activities.
  • Develop easy-to-use tools such as apps, maps and websites, which owners, renters, and potential buyers could use to explore and become more “HazardAware.”

This approach will allow all residents to easily see what a property’s HazardScore is and quickly understand how to mitigate any threats a home might be subjected to before making a final decision on where to live or gaining perspective on how to mitigate hazard threats in their current residence.

HazardAware Team

The team behind this project is comprised of a group of scientists from 9 different institutions, distributed along the Gulf Coast and beyond, and with a wide variety of scientific backgrounds:

Sergio Alvarez

Sergio Alvarez

University of Central Florida

Statistics, Econometrics, policy development/analysis

Jacopo Baggio

Jacopo Baggio

University of Central Florida

Agent based modeling, behavioral experiments, network analysis

Susan Bethel

Susan Bethel

University of Central Florida

Information Systems Engineer

Claire Connolly Knox

Claire Connolly Knox

University of Central Florida

Coastal planning, environmental vulnerability, emergency management, cultural competency

Chris Emrich

Chris Emrich (Project Leader)

University of Central Florida

Risk/vulnerability/resilience assessment

Roel Fleuren

Roel Fleuren

University of Central Florida

Project coordinator

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

University of Central Florida

Sr. Information Systems Engineer

Kristy Lewis

Kristy Lewis

University of Central Florida

Coastal resource/ecological modeling, anthropogenic influences

Tammie McClellan

Tammie McClellan

University of Central Florida

DIST, Program Director

Erica Recktenwald

Erica Recktenwald

University of Central Florida

Web Designer

Sonia Stephens

Sonia Stephens

University of Central Florida

Scientific/technical communication, user-centered design

Thomas Wahl

Thomas Wahl

University of Central Florida

Compound flooding, sea-level rise, extreme events

Colin Polsky

Colin Polsky

Florida Atlantic University

Multi-method vulnerability assessment design, sea-level rise resilience, business community engagement

William O’Dell

William O’Dell

University of Florida

Affordable housing policy/program development

Melissa Daigle

Melissa Daigle

Louisiana Sea Grant

Coastal and environmental law, resilience, flood insurance, legal research

Niki Pace

Niki Pace

Louisiana Sea Grant

Ocean/coastal and environmental law, floodplain management, disaster law, resilience, legal research

Jim Wilkins

Jim Wilkins

Louisiana Sea Grant

Environmental law, fisheries and wildlife law, ocean and coastal resources law

Monica Teets Farris

Monica Teets Farris

University of New Orleans

Mitigation, floodplain management, outreach, NFIP/CRS

Carol Friedland

Carol Friedland

Louisiana State University

Civil engineering, hazard resistant construction

Susan Cutter

Susan Cutter

University of South Carolina

Resilience/vulnerability metrics, hazards geography

Tamara Sheldon

Tamara Sheldon

University of South Carolina

Environmental economics, choice modeling

Melanie Gall

Melanie Gall(Project Leader)

Arizona State University

Hazard losses, mitigation/adaptation planning

Natasha Mendoza

Natasha Mendoza

Arizona State University

Behavioral health, decision making, vulnerable populations

Kelly Klima

Kelly Klima

Rand Corporation

Resilience, Emergency preparedness, hazard mitigation

Michelle Miro

Michelle Miro

Rand Corporation

Water resources management, environmental sustainability

Benjamin Preston

Benjamin Preston

Rand Corporation

Climate adaptation, social vulnerability

Research reported in this website was supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under award number 200010880.

Disclaimer: "The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Gulf Research Program or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine."