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Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise/ Flooding Adaptation Forum


In this paper we develop methods for identifying local business and government vulnerabilities to sea-level rise and the natural hazards associated with it. Unlike the fairly large literature on measuring social vulnerability to natural hazards, there are very few papers that discuss methods for measuring local business or local government vulnerability even though businesses and governments are also differentially affected natural hazards. Our goal is to create measures that are easily replicable using readily available data and that are easy to explain to local planners, policy makers, and citizens. We implement our measures of local business and government vulnerability for our study area, Coastal Virginia. We then combine those measures with a physical vulnerability measure to identify the areas in Coastal Virginia where planners and policy makers need to more closely examine the potential impacts of sea-level rise on their local businesses and government. While our methods are tailored to Coastal Virginia, they could be easily applied in other areas threatened by sea-level rise.


Paper presented by Sarah L. Stafford and Alexander D. Renaud of William & Mary at the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise/ Flooding Adaptation Forum, May 11, 2018.