Measurement, mechanistic and geospatial models of public health hazard vulnerability and jurisdictional risk
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
: 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
County and state public health departments are increasingly conducting hazard vulnerability and jurisdictional risk (HVJR) assessments as part of their public health emergency planning. These assessments involve the measurement of hazards (exposure), environmental, physical, social and health vulnerabilities (susceptibility), and community resources available to counter the disaster impact (resilience). We undertook a quantitative analysis to validate measurement and mechanistic models of HVJR using geographical information system (GIS) mapping and multivariate statistical techniques. GIS mapping was used to develop the hypothetical mechanistic model by visually examining the variability and patterns associated with county-level demographic, social, economic, hazards and resource data. Map layers were created that maximized the separation of geographical areas and these results were later used to select the most parsimonious measurement and mechanistic models for further testing and evaluation. We utilized public access data and Esri Community Analyst online software to perform a visualization analysis using GIS mapping and to hypothesize the causal pathways linking exposure and vulnerability to hazard impact. Conclusions: The most widely used HVJR models involve hundreds of probability estimates and individual item ratings that are then combined into a simple linear equation typically without testing or validating the latent variable constructs of exposure, vulnerability and resilience at the measurement level, and the causal pathways at the structural level. GIS mapping and multivariate methods can be used to confirm and validate measurement and mechanistic models of HVJR to increase the accuracy and predictive validity of these models and to optimize public health preparedness planning.
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Identify the key measurement issues for developing hazard vulnerability and jurisdictional risk models.
Develop an awareness of the importance of validating the causal assumptions underlying a hazard vulnerability and jurisdictional risk models.
Become familiar with the GIS mapping visualization, quantitative and statistical methods that can be applied to the development, validation and estimation of hazard vulnerability and jurisdictional risk models.
Keyword(s): Risk Assessment, Risk Mapping
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a faculty member for over 25 years in the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA teaching over 100 degree and continuing education courses. I am the current Director of the Harvard School of Public Health, Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (HSPH-PERLC) which specializes in developing methods for hazard vulnerability and jurisdictional risk assessment -- the topic of this session.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.