Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence: Mapping Social Vulnerability

Hurricane Florence is deluging the Carolinas, inundating coastal towns and forcing people to higher ground.

Officials reported Friday that several hundred water rescues occurred but hundreds more people were awaiting rescue.

The flooding in New Bern, North Carolina, has been particularly severe.

The area is among a group of counties that are highly vulnerable to disasters like Hurricane Florence.

That’s because disasters don’t affect all communities the same.

The impacts of disasters are exacerbated in areas with large numbers of elderly or disabled, who may have mobility impairments or special medical issues. Basic necessities and services may be limited already in areas of high-poverty, and disasters only make such resources less accessible.

Using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index model, Direct Relief built a set of maps that showcase these disparities.

The Social Vulnerability Index measures the likelihood that a given population will be disproportionately in need of support during an emergency.

The below application helps to visualize the underlying vulnerability of people in the path of Hurricane Florence to disaster.

Specifically, the maps show which counties are most vulnerable, based on factors like disability, language, age and poverty.

Click through to explore the dashboard in detail.

Overall Vulnerability

Housing and Transportation Access

Age and Disability



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