Vulnerability of the Elderly During Natural Hazard Events

Zimmerman, R., Restrepo, C., Nagorsky, B. & Culpen, A.M..
Proceedings of the Hazards and Disasters Research Meeting, Boulder, CO: Natural Hazards Center, July 11-12, pp. 38-40.

In this paper we analyze vulnerability of the elderly during natural hazard events at the macro level using the geographical distribution of the U.S. elderly population at the county level. The elderly population is defined as persons aged 65 years or older. We use data from the Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database to identify counties with high frequencies of natural hazards events, such as hurricanes, from 1995 to 2005 and we identify characteristics of the elderly population in those counties. This analysis can be extended to other natural hazards. Future work will use regression modeling to incorporate socioeconomic variables such as poverty, race, and ethnicity to identify elderly populations that may be particularly vulnerable to natural hazards to be used as a guide for managing risks to vulnerable populations.

Wagner Faculty