2019 Vol. 10, No. 4

Display Method:
Understanding Business Disruption and Economic Losses Due to Electricity Failures and Flooding
Elco Koks, Raghav Pant, Scott Thacker, Jim W. Hall
2019, 10(4): 421-438. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00236-y
Failure of critical national infrastructures can cause disruptions with widespread economic impacts. To analyze these economic impacts, we present an integrated modeling framework that combines:(1) geospatial information on infrastructure assets/networks and the natural hazards to which they are exposed; (2) geospatial modeling of the reliance of businesses upon infrastructure services, in order to quantify disruption to businesses locations and economic activities in the event of infrastructure failures; and (3) multiregional supply-use economic modeling to analyze wider economic impacts of disruptions to businesses. The methodology is exemplified through a case study for the United Kingdom. The study uses geospatial information on the location of electricity infrastructure assets and local industrial areas, and employs a multiregional supply-use model of the UK economy that traces the impacts of floods of different return intervals across 37 subnational regions of the UK. The results show up to a 300% increase in total economic losses when power outages are included in the risk assessment, compared to analysis that just includes the economic impacts of business interruption due to flooded business premises. This increase indicates that risk studies that do not include failure of critical infrastructures may be underestimating the total losses.
Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Validation of the 10-Item Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Measurement in a Community-Based Sample in Southwest China
Ke Cui, Ziqiang Han
2019, 10(4): 439-448. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00240-2
Community resilience has received growing attention in disaster risk management policies and practices, especially in China. However, few applicable instruments are available as a baseline for profiling and estimating a community's resiliency in the face of disasters. The purpose of this study is to cross-culturally adapt and validate the original version of the 10-Item Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Measurement (CCRAM-10) in China. Our study further investigates if and to what extent community members translate their participation in disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities into perceived community resilience. A Chinese version of CCRAM-10 was generated and applied to 369 participants from a rural and an urban community in southwest China affected by the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake. Internal consistency reliability and confirmatory factor analyses were performed to test the assessment instrument's applicability. The Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit Assessment Survey was used to establish the convergent validity for the Chinese version of CCRAM-10. Multiple linear regression models were used to explore the correlations between respondents' participation in activities and their perception of community resilience, while controlling for basic socio-demographic variables. Analysis results demonstrated good internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha=0.85) and satisfactory convergent validity for the Chinese version of the CCRAM-10. Construct validity was also confirmed (χ2/df=2.161; CFI=0.977; GFI=0.971; NFI=0.958; RMSEA=0.056; SRMR=0.030). The regression analysis results indicated that respondents' participation in DRR activities was positively correlated with their perception of community resilience. This study contributes to the wider collection of disaster studies by providing a tested tool for assessing community resilience in the context of China. Community workers and practice researchers may be interested in applying CCRAM-10 to evaluate the effect of specific DRR programmatic activities for improving community resilience.
Challenges with Disaster Mortality Data and Measuring Progress Towards the Implementation of the Sendai Framework
Helen K. Green, Oliver Lysaght, Dell D. Saulnier, Kevin Blanchard, Alistair Humphrey, Bapon Fakhruddin, Virginia Murray
2019, 10(4): 449-461. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00237-x
Disasters exact a heavy toll globally. However, the degree to which we can accurately quantify their impact, in particular mortality, remains challenging. It is critical to ensure that disaster data reliably reflects the scale, type, and distribution of disaster impacts given the role of data in:(1) risk assessments; (2) developing disaster risk management programs; (3) determining the resources for response to emergencies; (4) the types of action undertaken in planning for prevention and preparedness; and (5) identifying research gaps. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030s seven global disaster-impact reduction targets represent the first international attempt to systematically measure the effectiveness of disaster-impact reduction as a means of better informing policy with evidence. Target A of the Sendai Framework aims to "substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower the average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020-2030 compared to the period 2005-2015." This article provides an overview of the complexities associated with defining, reporting, and interpreting disaster mortality data used for gauging success in meeting Target A, acknowledging different challenges for different types of hazard events and subsequent disasters. It concludes with suggestions of how to address these challenges to inform the public health utility of monitoring through the Sendai Framework.
Disaster Risk Reduction in Cameroon: Are Contemporary Disaster Management Frameworks Accommodating the Sendai Framework Agenda 2030?
Henry Ngenyam Bang, Lee Stuart Miles, Richard Duncan Gordon
2019, 10(4): 462-477. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00238-w
Many African countries are prone to numerous hazardous events, exacerbated by the vulnerability of their rapidly increasing population and leading to frequent disasters that often have dire fiscal and development implications. Yet, there is declining sensitivity to these risks, contrary to the conventional wisdom of disaster management (DM) principles. The primary aim of this research is to understand the constraints and/or challenges limiting the ability of contemporary African DM systems/institutional frameworks from implementing adequate disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures. Using a qualitative, case study based research strategy, this research investigates resistance to the effective implementation of DM/DRR within Cameroon's contemporary DM system by using the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 guiding principles for DRR as benchmark. The findings reveal the existence of resistance factors that particularly complicate the communication, decision making, and coordination of DRR activities, the provision of resources, aspects of international assistance, as well as DRR planning and policies. The authors argue that such resistance factors contribute to making Cameroon's DM system more reactive and further undermine risk reduction. The article concludes by offering key recommendations that have the potential to alleviate the identified resistance factors as well as strengthen Cameroon's DM, particularly in relation to capacity building, training, research development, and organizational resilience.
Quantifying Environmental Impacts of Temporary Housing at the Urban Scale: Intersection of Vulnerability and PostHurricane Relief in New Orleans
Claire McConnell, Chiara Bertolin
2019, 10(4): 478-492. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00244-y
The increasing risk and exposure of people and assets to natural hazards and disasters suggests an increasing need for temporary housing following disasters. Resilience to natural hazards is dependent on the resources available to families or communities to prepare for and mitigate risk, influenced by social vulnerability. This study seeks to quantify the total environmental impact of temporary housing deployment in New Orleans, using the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina in southern Louisiana in August 2005 as a case example. We employ a novel approach to estimate displacement period and take into account social vulnerability across New Orleans neighborhoods to better understand the scale of post-disaster relief and its global warming potential. The methodology implemented in this study comprises three steps:a risk assessment, a life cycle assessment, and a resulting total impact assessment. We demonstrate the considerable risk of greenhouse gas emissions and energy impacts from temporary housing deployment linked to hurricane hazard. Furthermore, we show that environmental impact is highly sensitive to displacement period and find the current methodology of anticipating temporary housing use by hazard alone to be inadequate. Additionally, the approach presented in this article provides tools to politicians and disaster risk professionals that allow for resource investment planning to decrease social vulnerability, thus enhancing resilience and adaptive capacity in a more homogeneous way at the urban scale.
Evaluation of Early Action Mechanisms in Peru Regarding Preparedness for El Niño
Julio Aguirre, Daniel De La Torre Ugarte, Juan Bazo, Paulo Quequezana, Mauricio Collado
2019, 10(4): 493-510. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00245-x
In this article, we provide an impact evaluation of an intervention in Peru regarding preparedness for El Niño impacts in Picsi District of Chiclayo Province in Peru's northwestern coastal Lambayeque region. This effort involved the provision of special kits that reduce the potential damage to homes as a consequence of rainfall and floods associated with an El Niño-Southern Oscillation event. Information was collected in 2016 when this Forecast-based Financing early action was activated by an El Niño forecast, and after a coastal El Niño actually struck in 2017. This dual database permits us to estimate the impact of the intervention on the damage level of homes by comparing those homes supported by the program with those homes not receiving pilot-program support. This comparison is achieved by using propensity score matching techniques, which identify the most comparable homes to the ones that were supported by the intervention. The main findings of the study suggest a positive impact of the program in terms of its effectiveness in mitigating the damage caused by the 2017 El Niño. These results suggest a drop in the scale of house damage (less damage) by around 63% for a home that received the modular kit treatment. When considering other specifications of the model, the decrease in the scale of house damage improves up to approximately 66%.
The Influence of Underlying Stresses from Environmental Hazards on Resilience in Bangladesh: A System View
Philip Lake, Richard Fenner
2019, 10(4): 511-528. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00239-9
Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, while its people also suffer from a range of environmental hazards linked to the growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases. These diseases are responsible for increasing morbidity and mortality and lead to other stresses within the population. Such stresses create continuous impacts on the health and well-being of the population, compounding their vulnerability and inhibiting their capacity to cope with frequent event-related shocks, such as floods and drought. A systems approach is taken to examine four important environmental hazards in Bangladesh-arsenic contamination of drinking water, arsenic transmission through the food chain, indoor air quality, and air pollution. A review of these hazards is presented in a conceptual framework that links human well-being with the key system components of infrastructure, institutions, knowledge, and behavior. This reveals key underlying factors between the hazards and uncovers system structures that can lead to more effective hazard mitigation, and the establishment of strategic intervention points. The article concludes that elimination of these continuous stresses will only come about through the culmination of multiple interventions over time, undertaken in an iterative manner that builds on the continual advancement of hazard understanding. The role of individual behaviors, together with factors such as risk awareness and perception of the hazards, has been identified as crucial for achieving successful mitigation solutions. Improved knowledge of the hazards, public awareness, and government accountability are focus points to reduce population exposure and enhance response capacity.
Conflicting Discourses on Wildfire Risk and the Role of Local Media in the Amazonian and Temperate Forests
Nathália Thaís Cosmo da Silva, Urbano Fra. Paleo, José Ambrósio Ferreira Neto
2019, 10(4): 529-543. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00243-z
This article examines how risk is communicated by different actors, particularly local print newspapers and actors at the community level, in two different geographical contexts that are severely affected by wildfires-the Brazilian Amazon and Atlantic Spain. We analyzed how wildfire risk is framed in local print media and local actor discourse to elucidate how wildfire risk is interpreted and aimed to identify the main priorities of these risk governance systems. The main findings reveal that the presentation of wildfire as a spectacle is a serious obstacle to the promotion of coherent risk governance and social learning, which involves recognizing wildfire risk as a social, political, economic, and environmental problem. Proactive risk governance should communicate the multifaceted nature of risk and stimulate dialogue and negotiation among all actors to build consensus regarding land use and the creation of risk.
Households' Willingness to Pay for Disaster Resilient Safe Drinking Water Sources in Southwestern Coastal Bangladesh
Md. Sariful Islam, Sonia Afrin, Md. Nasif Ahsan, Mohammed Ziaul Haider, Tasnim Murad Mamun, Debasish Kumar Das
2019, 10(4): 544-556. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00229-x
Nonfunctionality of engineered water sources after two catastrophic cyclones-Sidr in November 2007 and Aila in May 2009-created acute scarcity of safe drinking water in coastal Bangladesh. The objective of this study was to estimate households' willingness to pay (WTP) for disaster resilient water sources in Dacope upazila of Khulna District in southwestern coastal Bangladesh. By applying the double bounded dichotomous contingent valuation method to a dataset of 250 randomly selected households, we found that the mean WTP is BDT 263 and that inaccessibility to functional safe drinking water sources is the most significant determining factor of households' WTP. Projecting mean WTP for a disaster resilient water source project in the study area, we measured a present value of aggregate WTP over project's life span worth about BDT 624 (USD 7.37) million, which is about 14.30 times the present value of project's aggregate establishment and maintenance cost. However, charging the local inhabitants a water tariff at mean WTP would lead to the exclusion of around 50% of the people from getting access to the improved water services or create a free riding problem. Through simulation exercises this study determined that the socially optimal water tariff is BDT 50 per month. This tariff would not only generate revenue of more than five times the project cost but would also create access to disaster resilient improved drinking water sources for almost 99% of the people.
Changes of Population, Built-up Land, and Cropland Exposure to Natural Hazards in China from 1995 to 2015
Yimin Chen, Wei Xie, Xiaocong Xu
2019, 10(4): 557-572. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00242-0
By using the latest China population grid and land-use data, we assess the changing exposure of China's population and land uses to the hazards of storm surges, droughts, earthquakes, floods, and landslides from 1995 to 2015. We found that the single-hazard areas and the multihazard areas covered 43% and 26% of China's territory, respectively. Population grew faster in the hazard-prone areas than in the non-hazard areas. Built-up area expanded more rapidly in the areas prone to earthquakes and landslides. Cropland changed rapidly in many hazard-prone areas. The hazard-prone areas affected by floods featured the highest cropland loss rates, while the areas prone to earthquakes and landslides featured the highest cropland growth rates. We detected areas with significant exposure changes by using hot spot analysis. It was found that population and built-up land in the Pearl River Basin were increasingly exposed to storm surges, floods, and landslides. The Haihe River Basin and Huaihe River Basin also showed a consistent increase of population and built-up land exposure to droughts and earthquakes. These findings can provide a foundation for the design and implementation of protection and adaptation strategies to improve the resilience of Chinese society to natural hazards.
Vulnerability Factors of Afghan Rural Women to Disasters
Marina Hamidazada, Ana Maria Cruz, Muneta Yokomatsu
2019, 10(4): 573-590. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00227-z
Disaster management is a global challenge, but disasters do not affect men and women equally. In most of the world's disasters, more females are impacted than males, and in Afghanistan the disparity between female and male victims is even greater. This study identifies and maps the relationships between the factors that make Afghan rural women more vulnerable to natural hazard-induced disasters. Data for this study were obtained through focus group discussions with rural women and men, as well as person-to-person interviews with employees of government and nongovernmental organizations at the national and local levels in Afghanistan. The study uses Grounded Theory and Interpretive Structural Modeling, not widely used before for this type of study, to analyze the data collected and to map the factors of vulnerability identified and their relationships. In agreement with previous studies, our findings show that insufficient disaster education, inadequate protection measures, and powerful cultural issues, both pre- and post-disaster, increase women's vulnerability during and after disasters. In particular, cultural issues play a role after disasters by affecting women's security, access to disaster aid, and health care. The study also found that perception regarding these cultural issues and how they affect women during disasters differs among men and women. Finally, by using Interpretive Structural Modeling, we show how the importance of the factors and their interrelationships change in pre-disaster and postdisaster situations. We conclude the article with some policy recommendations such as finding ways to allow women to participate in disaster planning activities and decision-making processes related to disaster risk reduction, as well as securing dedicated funds for the mainstreaming of gender in disaster risk reduction policies in Afghanistan.
Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Drought in the Heihe River Basin Based on the Extreme-Point Symmetric Mode Decomposition Method
Kai Feng, Xiaoling Su
2019, 10(4): 591-603. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00241-1
Assessment of spatiotemporal characteristics of drought under climate change is significant for drought mitigation. In this study, the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) calculated at different timescales was adopted to describe the drought conditions in the Heihe River Basin (HRB) from 1961 to 2014. The period characteristics and spatiotemporal distribution of drought were analyzed by using the extreme-point symmetric mode decomposition (ESMD) and inverse distance weight interpolation methods. Four main results were obtained. (1) The SPEI series of the upper reaches of the HRB at different timescales showed an upward trend (not significant) during 1961-2014. In the middle and lower reaches, the SPEI series exhibited significant downward trends. (2) The annual SPEI series of the lower reaches was decomposed through the ESMD method and exhibited a fluctuating downward trend as a whole. The oscillation showed quasi-3.4-year and quasi-4.5-year periods in the interannual variation, while a quasi-13.5-year period occurred in the interdecadal variation. The interannual period plays a leading role in drought variation across the HRB. (3) The entire research period was divided into three subperiods by the Bernaola-Galvan segmentation algorithm:1961-1966, 1967-1996, and 1997-2014. The spring drought frequency and autumn drought intensity arrived at their maxima in the lower reaches during 1997-2014, with values of 72.22% and 1.56, respectively. The high frequency and intensity areas of spring, summer, and autumn drought moved from the middle-upper reaches to the middle-lower reaches of the HRB during 1961-2014. (4) Compared to the wavelet transform, the ESMD method has self-adaptability for signal decomposition and is more accurate for drought period analysis. Extreme-point symmetric mode decomposition is a more efficient decomposition method for nonlinear and nonstationary time series and has important significance for revealing the complicated change features of climate systems.
Assessment of Livelihood Vulnerability to Drought: A Case Study in Dak Nong Province, Vietnam
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao, Dao Nguyen Khoi, Tran Thanh Xuan, Bernard Tychon
2019, 10(4): 604-615. doi: 10.1007/s13753-019-00230-4
In recent years, droughts have strongly affected the Central Highlands of Vietnam and have resulted in crop damage, yield decline, and serious water shortage. This study investigated the livelihood vulnerability of five communities of farmers who are exposed to droughts in one of the more vulnerable regions of Vietnam-Dak Nong Province. A survey of 250 households was conducted in the five communities to collect data on the region's sociodemographic profile, livelihood systems, social networks, health status, food and water security, drought conditions, and climate variability. Data were aggregated using a livelihood vulnerability index and the IPCC vulnerability index. The survey results indicate that Quang Phu community is the most vulnerable of the study's communities, followed by Nam N'dir, Dak Nang, Duc Xuyen, and Dak D'ro in descending order of vulnerability. Water availability and livelihood strategies are the most important variables in determining the vulnerability of the five surveyed communities. In order to reduce vulnerability to droughts, water management practices and livelihood diversification in farming and nonfarming activities are recommended for the study area.