Assessing the Vulnerability of Coastal Communities to Extreme Storms: The Case of Revere, MA., USA

  • George E. Clark
  • Susanne C. Moser
  • Samuel J. Ratick
  • Kirstin Dow
  • William B. Meyer
  • Srinivas Emani
  • Weigen Jin
  • Jeanne X. Kasperson
  • Roger E. Kasperson
  • Harry E. Schwarz
Article

Abstract

Climate change may affect the frequency, intensity, and geographic distribution of severe coastal storms. Concurrent sea-level rise would raise the baseline of flooding during such events. Meanwhile, social vulnerability factors such as poverty and disability hinder the ability to cope with storms and storm damage. While physical changes are likely to remain scientifically uncertain into the foreseeable future, the ability to mitigate potential impacts from coastal flooding may be fostered by better understanding the interplay of social and physical factors that produce human vulnerability. This study does so by integrating the classic causal model of hazards with social, environmental, and spatial dynamics that lead to the differential ability of people to cope with hazards. It uses Census data, factor analysis, data envelopment analysis, and floodplain maps to understand the compound social and physical vulnerability of coastal residents in the city of Revere, MA, USA.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • George E. Clark
    • 1
  • Susanne C. Moser
    • 2
  • Samuel J. Ratick
    • 1
  • Kirstin Dow
    • 3
  • William B. Meyer
    • 1
  • Srinivas Emani
    • 1
  • Weigen Jin
    • 4
  • Jeanne X. Kasperson
    • 5
  • Roger E. Kasperson
    • 1
  • Harry E. Schwarz
    • 6
  1. 1.Graduate School of Geography and George Perkins Marsh InstituteClark UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Belfer Ctr. for Science & Internatl. Affairs, Kennedy SchoolHarvard UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Geography DepartmentUniversity of South CarolinaUSA
  4. 4.Data Inc.Englewood Cliffs
  5. 5.George Perkins Marsh InstituteClark UniversityUSA
  6. 6.International Development ProgramClark UniversityUSA

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