Unveiling spatial inequalities: Exploring county-level disaster damages and social vulnerability on public disaster assistance in contiguous US

Yu Han* (Corresponding Author), Haifeng Jia, Changging Xu, Marija Bočkarjova, C.J. van Westen, Luigi Lombardo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Understanding the dynamics between public disaster assistance, disaster damages, and social vulnerability at county-level is crucial for designing effective disaster mitigation strategies. This study utilized the Local Bivariate Moran Index (LBMI) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models to examine spatial patterns and relationships between disaster damages, social vulnerability, and public disaster assistance in contiguous US counties from 2001 to 2021. LBMI results reveal that public disaster assistance has predominantly been directed towards post-disaster recovery efforts, with a particular focus on coastal communities affected by major declared disasters. However, the distributions of public assistance and individual housing assistance, which are the two primary sources of public disaster assistance, do not adequately cover physically and socially vulnerable communities. The distribution of pre-disaster risk mitigation also falls short of sufficiently covering vulnerable communities. Results further indicate the complex interactions between different categories of natural disasters and public assistances. The GWR model results demonstrate spatial variations in predicting each category of public disaster assistance. These findings indicate the need to address disparities in accessing public disaster assistance in the US, and advocate for more equitable disaster mitigation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119690
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalJournal of environmental management
Volume351
Issue number119690
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Disaster assistance
  • Social vulnerability
  • Hazard mitigation
  • Local indicators of spatial association
  • FEMA
  • ITC-HYBRID
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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