25 Aug

A County-Level Rick Assessment of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Preview was written by Naomi W. Lazarus


Q: What is the main purpose of your study?
A:The main purpose of the study is to examine how the social and economic environments adapt to changes brought on by a major disaster event. In this study, the impact of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill is evaluated in terms of the resources available to people in the form of livelihoods and social safety nets, and to what extent these resources help people cope with and recover from the event.

Q: What are the practical, day to day implications of your study?
A: The study introduces a place-based model, referred to as the Hazard Risk Location Model (HRLM), to measure environmental and socio-economic variables that are important characteristics of the study area in question. The model can be used as a tool for policy makers to identify specific areas and communities that are at risk of being negatively impacted by a hazard event.

Q: How does your study relate to other work on the subject?
A: The study is related to the body of research on natural and man-made hazard events and their impact on people. The actions taken by individuals, communities, and local governments, to minimize the impact of hazard events are determined by resources available and how these resources are allocated. In this regard, the HRLM supplements other models as a mechanism to assess risk and identify vulnerable locations.

Q: What are two or three interesting findings that come from your study?
A: 1. The impact of the DWH oil spill varied significantly across the coastal region based on the geography and the economy of each county
2. A county’s risk level is determined by the size of the population, unemployment rates, and its distance from the spill site.

BayQ: What might be some of the theoretical implications of this study?
A: The study highlights the importance of considering social and economic sectors in the development of disaster mitigation strategies.

Q: How does your research help us think about Geography?
A: My research connects people and places by considering how communities cope with the impacts of an environmental disaster.

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Click here to read the abstract of this article on the Wiley Online Library.