Public Health Resources


Date of this Version



Disasters, first published online : 8 JAN 2016


U.S. Government Work


We created a measure to help comprehend population vulnerability to potential flooding and excessive heat events using health, built environment and social factors. Through principal component analysis (PCA), we created non-weighted sum index scores of literature-reviewed social and built environment characteristics. We created baseline poor health measures using 1999–2005 ageadjusted cardiovascular and combined diabetes and hypertension mortality rates to correspond with social–built environment indices. We mapped US Census block groups by linked ageadjusted mortality and a PCA-created social–built environment index. The goal was to measure flooding and excessive heat event vulnerability as proxies for population vulnerability to climate change for Travis County, Texas. This assessment identified communities where baseline poor health, social marginalisation and built environmental impediments intersected. Such assessments may assist targeted interventions and improve emergency preparedness in identified vulnerable communities, while fostering resilience through the focus of climate change adaptation policies at the local level.