[Esip-discovery] Discovery Cluster Call Today - Agenda winter sessions

Ruth Duerr ruth.duerr3 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 16 15:31:26 EDT 2017

Hi Erin,

I’ve snipped out some relevant paragraphs from an email conversation I had with Joshua Behr of the VMASC group, which I found extremely interesting…. Especially the bit about interviews with 7K households and 21,000 individuals….


> We have been running storm scenarios, connecting the damage with displaced populations, and then estimating the recovery time for those populations. The idea is to test the return on investment (especially for vulnerable populations) stemming adopting “resilient” planning practices under blue skies in anticipation of a future severe weather event. So, we have three data streams (as I call them): the natural systems data used for modeling the storms, the built environment data for estimating the extent of damage, and (most importantly) the social-behavioral data for informing the modeling of recovery times for particular populations.
> We are mostly modeling severe weather events, such as hurricanes (we did do anthrax modeling and IED modeling for the region, too). So, both rain- and surge-induced flooding. We use a lot of NOAA data (of course), and we have good sense of structures from local planning depts.. (and a growing sense of base floor elevations, too), but our strength is injecting social-behavioral data. For example, we conceptualized 16 types of household vulnerabilities. Then we created a set of indicators that are suggestive of each type of vulnerability (we also systematically identified weights for each indicator). Then we created a set of interview questions intended to measure each indicator within each type of vulnerability. For this exercise, we interviewed over 7k households (gathered information on +21,000 individuals in those households; it was the largest data gathering effort of its kind outside of the Census in VA). Anyway, we found early on a paucity of clear definitions and an absence of data characterizing individual risk perceptions, sense of fatalism, etc. and understood that such insights were necessary for valid models of how systems (populations plus their built environment, including critical infrastructure) would respond to natural events. So, we set out to plug these holes.

> On Oct 16, 2017, at 1:22 PM, Erin Robinson <erinrobinson at esipfed.org> wrote:
> Ruth - Could you give me more context on VMASC? I want to make sure we're hitting the theme note, but generally that sounds good. When you reach out will you cc me?
> E

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