Mississippi and Louisiana coastal communities are susceptible to a variety of natural and man-made hazards. Many of the residents who live in these areas are vulnerable because of age, income, disabilities, or other factors and require special assistance when events occur. Having tools to quickly communicate vulnerability data, such as the numbers of residents over age 65 living in a floodplain, is critical in planning for and responding to hazard events.
The Red Cross received funding through a Coastal Resilience Networks (CRest) grant to convene a network of service organizations to improve their knowledge of local hazards and engage them in recovery planning. The goal is to enhance community resilience by ensuring that the organizations that serve vulnerable populations are prepared to mobilize after a hazard event occurs and are equipped to provide training and resources to these residents. As part of this process, the Red Cross is using the Coastal County Flood Exposure Snapshot to communicate vulnerability information to its network members. The flood exposure snapshot captures the numbers of elderly and impoverished residents living in the floodplain as well as the number of critical facilities located there, which is valuable for pre-event and recovery planning efforts.
Organizations can find it difficult to locate and analyze vulnerability data and present that information to others in a meaningful way. The Coastal County Flood Exposure Snapshot allows organizations like the Red Cross to communicate vulnerabilities using easy-to-understand tables and graphs that will help inform hazard planning efforts.