UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An integrated approach for community hazard, impact, risk and vulnerability analysis : HIRV Pearce, Laurence Dominique Renée


The Great Hyogo-Ken Nanbu earthquake, Hurricane Andrew, the Lockerbie air crash, and many other disasters have had terrible impacts on communities around the world. Disasters will continue to occur, and their social, economic, political, and environmental impacts will continue to increase. Communities are becoming increasingly concerned about this and are working to develop disaster management programs to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Hazard, risk, and vulnerability (HRV) analyses form the basis of disaster management processes; unfortunately, to this point, communities and regional districts have not had access to effective HRV models. This dissertation focuses on HRV analyses that are community-based, and it argues that the goal of such analyses should be to assist communities in developing and prioritizing mitigation strategies for hazard management. It also argues that HRV models should allow for the integration of disaster management and community planning, along with a high degree of public participation. Through a literature review, fourteen key objectives for determining the adequacy of current HRV models are derived. When extant models are measured against these objectives, it becomes clear that the former are deficient in a number of areas. In order to rectify these deficiencies, a new HRV model - the hazard, impact, risk, and vulnerability (HIRV) model is introduced. The HIRV model is developed through extensive use of exploratory studies and (1) incorporates a high degree of public participation, (2) is all-hazard in scope, (3) provides for realistic and practical risk assessment, (4) establishes guidelines for determining vulnerabilities, (5) provides guidelines for determining the potential impacts of a disaster, and (6) provides a method for prioritizing mitigation strategies. The potential effectiveness of the implementation of the HIRV model is evaluated through the use of participatory case studies in the British Columbia communities of Barriere, Taylor, and Kamloops. In short, the HIRV model provides a way for communities and emergency planners to make effective use of existing resources in order to develop comprehensive and practical disaster management programs and to move towards sustainable hazard mitigation.

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