Spatial patterns of natural hazards mortality in the United States

151Citations
Citations of this article
200Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.

Abstract

Background: Studies on natural hazard mortality are most often hazard-specific (e.g. floods, earthquakes, heat), event specific (e.g. Hurricane Katrina), or lack adequate temporal or geographic coverage. This makes it difficult to assess mortality from natural hazards in any systematic way. This paper examines the spatial patterns of natural hazard mortality at the county-level for the U.S. from 1970-2004 using a combination of geographical and epidemiological methods. Results: Chronic everyday hazards such as severe weather (summer and winter) and heat account for the majority of natural hazard fatalities. The regions most prone to deaths from natural hazards are the South and intermountain west, but sub-regional county-level mortality patterns show more variability. There is a distinct urban/rural component to the county patterns as well as a coastal trend. Significant clusters of high mortality are in the lower Mississippi Valley, upper Great Plains, and Mountain West, with additional areas in west Texas, and the panhandle of Florida, Significant clusters of low mortality are in the Midwest and urbanized Northeast. Conclusion: There is no consistent source of hazard mortality data, yet improvements in existing databases can produce quality data that can be incorporated into spatial epidemiological studies as demonstrated in this paper. It is important to view natural hazard mortality through a geographic lens so as to better inform the public living in such hazard prone areas, but more importantly to inform local emergency practitioners who must plan for and respond to disasters in their community. © 2008 Borden and Cutter; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Borden, K. A., & Cutter, S. L. (2008). Spatial patterns of natural hazards mortality in the United States. International Journal of Health Geographics, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-072X-7-64

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free