Publication Date

12-2009

Committee Chair

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Douglas M. Flewelling, Ph.D.

Abstract

Southern California is at risk of a severe earthquake occurring in the near future. In order to be as prepared as possible for the impending natural disaster, the City of Redlands utilized FEMA’s Hazards U.S. Multi-Hazard (HAZUS-MH) software to estimate social, economic, and physical impacts a potential earthquake could have on the area. The finest aggregation level allowed in HAZUS-MH was the census tract level, but this was not fine enough for the study area because some census tracts are too large to accurately reflect population distribution. In this project, the HAZUS-MH geodatabases were manipulated to use census blocks instead. The census block data used to replace the tracts within HAZUS-MH was first updated using ESRI’s Business Analyst 2008 population estimates. Multiple potential earthquakes with varying magnitudes were modeled using the software. A model was created to determine the most suitable schools to act as shelters in the event of an earthquake based on their locations within the neighborhoods with the most need. The results allow disaster management officials to better plan for mitigation and preparedness within the communities.

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