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New website offers information for potential buyers about environmental hazards like floods and wind.

New website offers information for potential buyers about environmental hazards like floods and wind.

Mary Beth Faller
May 20, 2022

ASU professors help to build a massive database of properties in the Gulf states

According to a popular real-estate app, a three-bedroom house with dock is available in coastal Lafitte (Lafiette), Louisiana, near a marina, and a seafood restaurant, and it’s listed for $160,000

The app doesn’t tell you that the cost of buying that house will be $6,232 per annum due to environmental hazards like rain and wind. It is also difficult to get financial assistance from government after a storm.

This valuable information is available on a new website called HazardAwareBased on research from many institutions, including Arizona State University, this is the resulting report.

Melanie GallDr., co-director of The Center for Emergency Management and Homeland SecurityASU offers the following: Natasha MendozaAssociate Professor in the School of Social WorkHazardAware, a new tool that helps Gulf state homeowners as well as renters or buyers, to assess a property’s risk and make informed choices, was created by.

HazardAware provides disaster risk reports for 13.3 Million addresses in almost 200 counties along the Gulf of Mexico. This includes all of Florida, parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, as well as Texas.

HazardAware took three years to develop and was made possible by a $3.4million grant from the Gulf Research Program. This grant is funded from settlements from the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig spillage in 2010.

Zillow can give you information on the cost of a house, as well as an estimate for homeowners’ insurance and monthly mortgage payments. This will help you to understand the financial burden of buying that house. Gall is also an affiliate faculty member in the University of School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningASU

You may not be aware of the risks you are taking or the context in which you are operating. This amount does not include the cost of recovering from a disaster.

This is where our website comes in.

HazardAware allows users to type in their address and provides a wealth of information.

  • A summary of the hazards cost for one, five, or thirty years. This is the amount that a homeowner would have to pay to repair environmental hazards.
  • Below is a breakdown of costs. The Lafitte owners could spend $6,232 a year on disasters. $6,216 would be for wind damage and the rest for hail and storms.
  • Community risk factors. Poor infrastructure is a problem in Lafitte, which includes temporary shelter, hospital beds, evacuation routes and broadband access.
  • There are many ways to reduce risk on a property. Lafitte homeowner could check that their insurance covers wind damage. Then, install impact-resistant glass on their garage doors and reinforce them.
  • Future risks include more frequent or severe flooding or hurricanes.
  • The historical risk in the community
  • FEMA rejects 55% of claims for homeowners in the Lafitte region and 60% for renters.
  • A list of tips to help potential homebuyers and renters. For example, how to find out how flood insurance claims have been filed within the community.

All that data is combined into a property’s resilience score, ranging from 1 (lowest level of resilience) to 100.

Many factors influence the resilience score and the results may not always be expected. A $2 million house on Galveston’s beach has a score 71. This is due in part to the high level of community resilience and the fact it was built in 2017 under a newer construction code.

The resilience score for the Lafitte house was 32. It is possible that the house was built in 2000 before flood and wind protection codes were updated.

HazardAware was built by a team from many institutions, including ASU, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida.

Gall stated that the team continues to work on the site.

It is currently a site for the general population that thinks about residential use. However, we are also building a section that focuses more heavily on stakeholders such as planners and emergency managers, who don’t want information on just one building but are interested in regional interpretations, she said.

They might also look at the area in which houses have the lowest scores or where there is a combination of low scores with demographic information.

Other upgrades could include a way homeowners can indicate that they have made mitigation changes on their properties.

She said that, for example, if a house underwent a major renovation and was raised, we wouldn’t know this from the information we have.

Gall said that the project was a potluck.

Everyone brought their expertise and data. We had to think about how to combine it all and how to communicate it.

Gall contributed data regarding disaster loss. She has worked on SHELDUSSince her time at the University of South Carolina, she has been a PhD student in Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database. When she arrived at ASU in 2017, she brought SHELDUS with her. This software tracks weather fatalities, property losses, and thunderstorms at the county level. SHELDUS is financially self-sustaining and includes FEMA and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mendoza was part a team that conducted an online survey to residents in the Gulf states. The goal was to determine the best way to present the information to ensure that people use it. This was how they determined a resiliency score.

A house on the North Carolina coast collapsed onto its shores last week after it was battered by several days of storms. The homeowner, who had bought the house nine years ago, is still living in it. According to the Washington Post: I didn’t know how vulnerable it was. Despite dire warnings by many federal agencies about rising seas, it was still a remarkable result.

Gall said HazardWare is taking this approach.

She said that you see it all the while people move to Flagstaff and have never heard of wildfires.

We want to speed up the process of increasing awareness about where you live, the hazards that face you, and what you can do about them.

Gall stated that she hopes that the platform can be expanded in order to include other areas of America.

She said that the approach makes it easy to add other hazards such as wildfire and heat.

We hope to find a way to do that and would love to work with companies like Redfin or Zillow to integrate our apps.

Pixabay – Top image of Key West Florida

Mary Beth Faller
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