Mapping social vulnerability to enhance housing and neighborhood resilience Academic Article uri icon


  • Social factors influence the ability of coastal communities and their populations to anticipate, respond, resist, and recover from disasters. Galveston, TX, offers a unique opportunity to test the efficacy of social vulnerability mapping to identify inequalities in the ways that different parts of the community may react to a disaster. We describe spatial patterns of social vulnerability prior to 2008's Hurricane Ike and compare them to outcomes related to response, impact, recovery resources, and early stages of the rebuilding. Households and neighborhoods identified using vulnerability mapping experienced negative outcomes: later evacuation, a greater degree of damage sustained, fewer private and public resources for recovery, and slower and lower volumes of repair and rebuilding activity. Findings support using community vulnerability mapping as a tool for emergency management, hazard mitigation, and disaster recovery planning, helping communities to reduce losses and enhance response and recovery, thereby strengthening community resilience and reducing inequalities. 2011 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 245.16

author list (cited authors)

  • Van Zandt, S., Peacock, W. G., Henry, D. W., Grover, H., Highfield, W. E., & Brody, S. D.

citation count

  • 154

complete list of authors

  • Van Zandt, Shannon||Peacock, Walter Gillis||Henry, Dustin W||Grover, Himanshu||Highfield, Wesley E||Brody, Samuel D

publication date

  • January 2012