Indexed on: 20 May '15Published on: 20 May '15Published in: Natural hazards (Dordrecht, Netherlands)
This paper proposes a new approach to developing and utilizing vulnerability indicators, which is based on the concept of similarity. Methods for assessing the disaster vulnerability of communities through quantitative indices are established in research and practice. They are typically used to identify which cities or other spatial units are most susceptible to losses from storms, floods, and other hazards; however, their utility for taking action to reduce vulnerability has been found to be limited. In contrast, the method developed here quantifies vulnerability profiles for purposes of identifying places that are similarly vulnerable. Such an approach can facilitate sharing of knowledge, resources, and successful practices that are relevant to a particular community’s circumstances. The approach is demonstrated in a preliminary application to coastal communities in British Columbia, Canada.