Spatial Adjustments of Socially Vulnerable Populations in Galveston County Following Hurricane Ike
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The insistent threat of natural disasters has invoked a plethora of literature on the vulnerability of communities. Understanding the role socio-demographics play in disaster adjustment is becoming an increasingly important aspect for disaster adaptation. This thesis examines the spatial adjustments of socially vulnerable populations to the 2008 Hurricane Ike by estimating the effects of damage on the changes of socially vulnerable populations between 2000 and 2015. This is done in an effort to address the inequality in disaster impacts across vulnerable segments of the population. Block groups within Galveston County are used to quantitatively index the drivers of social vulnerability in order to analyze the correlation with inundation levels brought by Hurricane Ike. Furthermore, multivariate statistical models are used to understand household-level adjustments to different types of flood zones and inundation levels. Particular attention is given to the spatial error dependence and models are adjusted for spatial autocorrelation. Local Indicators of Spatial Autocorrelation (LISA) are also conducted to understand the spatial relationships between social vulnerability and damages. Overall, the results of regression models indicate that Socially Vulnerable populations have moved out of high damage areas. The LISA model also indicated a decrease in the clustering of social vulnerability in areas with high levels of inundation. These adjustments offer important insights into the recovery of Galveston County post Ike and can help inform disaster policy.
Fucile Sanchez, Emily Briana (2018). Spatial Adjustments of Socially Vulnerable Populations in Galveston County Following Hurricane Ike. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from