11.10.2012 | ZEF and UNU-EHS: Lecture "Moving from Hazard Vulnerability to Disaster Resilience: The Experience from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast"

The Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn jointly organize a seminar series on Risk and Uncertainty for Sustainable Development.

They would like to cordially invite you to the next lecture of the joint seminar series on:


Moving from Hazard Vulnerability to Disaster Resilience: The Experience from Mississippi’s Gulf Coast


Speaker: Susan Cutter, Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina (see biography attached)


Chair: Fabrice Renaud, Head of Section at UNU-EHS

Discussant: Joachim von Braun, ZEF-Director


Time: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 4.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.

Place: ZEF (ground floor conference room)


Abstract of the lecture

For the past decade, hazards and disasters researchers have focused on what makes people and places vulnerable to natural hazards. The development of geo-referenced vulnerability metrics, especially those capturing social vulnerability (such as the Social Vulnerability Index), enabled comparisons between places in terms of attributes that influenced the ability of populations to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

Hazard vulnerability assessments (including both social and physical vulnerability) are now the basis for county and state hazard mitigation plans nationwide. Instead of focusing on vulnerability reduction as a pathway towards disaster risk reduction, federal agency interest is centered on enhancing the nation’s resilience to natural disasters. Using Mississippi’s Gulf Coast and its experience with Hurricane Katrina as an exemplar, this lecture describes the concept of disaster resilience and current efforts underway to measure disaster resilience from community to regional scales.

Press release