Disparities of Flood Risks in Urban Areas and Historically Marginalized Communities in Sarasota County, FL
Keywords: Spatial analysis, flood risk assessment, historically marginalized communities
Abstract Type: Paper Abstract
Tarik Jamil Brown Texas A&M University Department of Geography
Natural hazards annually cause significant structural, economic, and physical damage throughout primarily urban areas throughout the United States. The most common and recurring hazard is flooding. Past studies have investigated hazard risk to formulate risk reduction strategies, yet typically look at defining factors, such as exposure and vulnerability, separately. While FEMA floodplain maps delineate potential flood exposure across the US, they are not without limitations. FEMA flood maps have empirical issues with coverage, are often out-of-date, and are continuously being updated. More than physical risk and demographic data need to be analyzed to understand the complexity of hazard vulnerability and recovery.
The study aims to analyze the following: a) reclassifying floodplains to be more accurate, b) assess differences in exposure populations between reclassified floodplains and FEMA floodplains, and c) determine if historically marginalized communities are more frequently and disproportionately affected by flood hazards within the Sarasota County, FL. The results show that inland regions showed signs of a slight reduction in urban area flood exposure between 2008 and 2019, ranging from a 1-4% decline. A visible pattern of coastal increase in urban flood exposure is prevalent, as census tracts along the coastline exhibit a 4% increase in urban exposure. Initial results show historically marginalized communities face increased flood exposure based on the reclassified flood zones. Reclassifying flood maps allows me to spatially identify urban areas within floodplains that outdated FEMA maps omit. This research advances risk assessment analysis of coastal disaster exposure in urban areas and historically marginalized populations.