Effects of Socioeconomic Factors on the Magnitudes of International Disasters
Project Site: Pacific Disaster Center
Mentor: Pam Cowher

Project Abstract:

One of the fundamental capabilities of the Pacific Disaster Center is the use of historical disaster data to better assess disaster risks and impacts. The goal of this project is to analyze whether the degree of distress inflicted on the surrounding population is based on certain socioeconomic factors of the affected country, i.e. gross domestic product, access to healthcare, and literacy rates. An essential element of this project was the utilization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which allowed the geospatial presentation of affected locations in the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT). With ArcGIS software, geographic identifiers were assigned to the centroids of the location of a disaster so that the distribution of events could be evident. Altogether, there were 6125 geographic identifiers that were plotted in 44 different countries. The final product of this project will be added as a map layer in the Pacific Disaster Center’s Hazards and Vulnerability Atlas.