Student Research

Applying and Augmenting Hazus Software to Assess Equity Impacts of Flooding Hazards in Los Angeles

This study uses the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazus Geographic Information Systems software to model the economic, environmental and social impacts of a 100-year flood scenario in the Los Angeles Coastal Plain. Emphasis is placed on environmental justice communities, which experience intensified hardship in the aftermath of disaster events. Recent reports issued by NOAA posit that the duration, frequency and intensity of natural disasters may increase in the coming decade. The use of predictive software, such as Hazus, can help urban planners model the impacts of disasters on vulnerable populations and develop mitigation strategies that reflect the needs of communities. This study assesses Hazus’ ability to incorporate an environmental justice analysis into its demographic impact assessment and makes suggestions for future updates to the software.

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