2013 Vol. 4, No. 2

Display Method:
Drought Planning Research in the United States: An Overview and Outlook
Xinyu Fu, Zhenghong Tang, Jianjun Wu, Kevin McMillan
2013, 4(2): 51-58. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0006-x
Drought is widely known as an insidious hazard due to its complex and unique characteristics. Drought disasters have brought tremendous economic losses and significant social and environmental impacts to communities across the globe. To further understand the hazard drought poses and provide insights into planning for drought preparedness, this article conducts a thorough literature review of drought hazard and drought planning frameworks within the United States. Two main approaches and three major forms of drought planning are discussed and summarized. Based on this review, a preliminary overview of drought planning status in the United States is presented. This study provides insight into major drought planning literature and establishes a link with drought mitigation and adaptation. The article concludes with discussion and implication for future drought planning and a future research outlook.
Economic Effects of Drought on Agriculture in North China
Yingzhi Lin, Xiangzheng Deng, Qin Jin
2013, 4(2): 59-67. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0007-9
In the past three decades, global agriculture losses have continuously grown due to increasingly severe droughts. Compared with direct economic effects, there are great difficulties in evaluating the indirect economic effects of drought, which has severely lagged behind the urgent information needs for decision making. This study tries to solve the perplexity in the evaluation of the effects of drought on the price fluctuation of agricultural products by building a partial equilibrium model that describes the balancing process of supply and demand quantitatively. Using this model, a scenario analysis is applied to evaluate the price fluctuation of agricultural products caused by drought in North China. The results indicate that there is no major impact of drought on the market prices of eight major agricultural products. Even with the occurrence of a severe drought in North China, market prices of agricultural products will rise no more than 3.59 percent, which is less than the normal market price fluctuations of China's agricultural products. This study provides a tool for evaluating indirect economic effects of drought. The results of our case study could support decision making for China's food market regulation.
Evaluation of the Visible and Shortwave Infrared Drought Index in China
Ning Zhang, Yang Hong, Qiming Qin, Lin Zhu
2013, 4(2): 68-76. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0008-8
In this article, the performance of the Visible and Shortwave infrared Drought Index (VSDI), a drought index recently developed and validated in Oklahoma, United States, is further explored and validated in China. The in-situ measured soil moisture from 585 weather stations across China are used as ground-truth data, and five commonly used drought indices are compared with VSDI for surface drought monitoring. The results reveal that VSDI is robust and reliable in the estimation of surface dryness—it has the highest correlation with soil moisture among the six indices when computed using both the original and cloud removed data. All six indices show the highest correlation with soil moisture at the 10 cm layer and the averaged 10–50 cm layer. The spatiotemporal patterns of surface moisture indicated by the MODIS-based VSDI are further compared with the precipitation-based drought maps and the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) simulated surface soil moisture maps over five provinces located in the Middle-Lower Yangtze Plain of China. The results indicate that despite the difference between the spatial and temporal resolutions of the three products, the VSDI maps still show good agreement with the other two drought products through the rapidly alternating drought and flood events in 2011 in this region. Therefore, VSDI can be used as an effective surface wetness indicator at both the provincial and the national scales in China.
Integrated Risk Identification, Analysis, and Assessment: A Dynamic Household Economy Analysis Methodology and Example
Bob Alexander, Linda J. Cox, Junko Mochizuki
2013, 4(2): 77-88. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0009-7
Many methodologies identify, analyze, and assess static risks to quantify potential disaster losses based on past and current events. Static methodologies will not, however, capture how climate change and adaptation are rapidly affecting the natural and social systems in many areas. Local and global changes such as those associated with development investments, livelihood pressures, political stability, and demographic trends are also affecting many areas, especially in emerging economies. Risk identification, analysis, and assessment methodologies must integrate all changes dynamically so that risk reduction and development decisions can be based on future needs. After a theoretical explanation of how to integrate dynamic changes, a static Household Economy Analysis (HEA) completed for a rapidly changing area of East Timor was altered using current trends to make the analysis more dynamic. Some inherent difficulties exist with a more dynamic approach and recommendations for overcoming them are presented. Research, government, and nongovernment personnel interested in integrated approaches to risk reduction and development decision-making in areas subject to rapid change will find the study useful.
Disaster Preparedness: Looking through the Lens of Hospitals in Japan
Farah Mulyasari, Satomi Inoue, Sunil Prashar, Kenji Isayama, Mrittika Basu, Nitin Srivastava, Rajib Shaw
2013, 4(2): 89-100. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0010-1
Critical facilities, such as hospitals, play a crucial role in the socioeconomic and psychological recovery of the population after a disaster. Hospitals are considered important due to their roles in saving lives in the affected population and must be able to withstand hazards and remain functioning during and after a disaster. This article assesses earthquake preparedness of hospitals in eight Japanese cities using a questionnaire survey. The questionnaire consists of six parameters and 21 indicators from the “four pillars of hospital preparedness” including structural, nonstructural, functional, and human resources. The results show that the majority of the respondent hospitals fulfill the functional preparedness, which is useful during the emergency period of a disaster, while the other three pillars—structural, nonstructural, and human resources—need to be strengthened. This study helps to assess the status of disaster preparedness as well as the gaps for these hospitals in the Tohoku and Nankai Trough regions, drawing lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of the Tohoku area. This status and the gaps are used as a departure point to indicate how to enhance preparedness and resilience to future disaster risks.
Recent Progress
Implementation of Disaster Reduction Measures and Enhancement of Integrated Risk Governance in China
Li Jiang
2013, 4(2): 101-104. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0011-0