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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Columbia Professor Unveils Hurricane Map Identifying Vulnerable Populations Threatened by Florence

A unique interactive map designed to assist health and government officials, journalists, and organizations track a wide range of up to date storm information affected by Hurricane Florence was published by Columbia Health Policy and Management professor, Dr. Irwin Redlener. The comprehensive Hurricane Map — which includes the number of children and poverty-stricken families living in the areas — can be used to identify such information as medical needs, how many people are living in Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA shelters, and the location and number of schools and hospitals, power plants and toxic Superfund sites in the areas of impact.

The map, which utilizes existing data feeds from government agencies and other reputable sources, is particularly useful for those in high level agency positions, as well as analysts in the public and private sector, responsible for response and recovery programs.

“It’s a one stop, at-risk snapshot of the vulnerable populations living in the areas being hit by Hurricane Florence,” explained Dr. Redlener, who also leads the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. “Vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly and those living in poverty, often lack the ability to advocate for themselves and can be hidden in plain sight. This map helps to shine a light on the most vulnerable and ensure they are not left behind as communities are impacted by Hurricane Florence respond and recover,” noted Dr. Redlener and co-authors.

“It provides context for communities that have a higher proportion of people that are likely to need more assistance in the disaster response and recovery,” said Mr. Jonathan Sury, NCDP’s Project Director and the architect of the mapping tool. “With better information, response and recovery resources can be better matched to where they are needed most.”

This map is presented as a Beta version for informational purposes only. Some data feeds may be slow to load due to volume of utilization, and evacuation data feeds are not live. Dr. Redlener recommends that Individuals should always look to local response agencies for the latest information.

The hurricane map is available online.