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Gulf of Mexico resilience to acute meteorological events: Comparison of states and coastal counties in the Gulf of Mexico region
Summers, J., L. Harwell, L. Smith, AND K. Buck. Gulf of Mexico resilience to acute meteorological events: Comparison of states and coastal counties in the Gulf of Mexico region. 25th Biennial Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference, Mobile, Alabama, November 03 - 07, 2019.
The CRSI application to Gulf Coast states and coastal counties permits an assessment of these areas of resilience to natural hazards and a deconstruction of that assessment to determine strong and weak attributes associated with resilience. This type of assessment permits EPA Regions 4 and 6 to determine counties where poor resilience exists and evaluate the importance of investment in those counties to support future resilience to natural hazards. It also permits local counties with weaker attributes to find similar counties with stronger attributes to enhance a "lessons learned" exchange.
Using a Climate Resilience Screening Index (CRSI) that was developed to represent resilience to acute weather events at multiple scales for the United States, five states and their coastal counties bordering the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are compared for resilience for these types of natural hazards. The comparison examines the domains, indicators and metrics of CRSI addressing environmental, economic and societal aspects of resilience to acute climate events at county scales. The index was applied at the county scale and aggregated to represent select regions of the United States. Comparisons showed all Gulf of Mexico states with resilience scores that were less than the national average of 2.713 (Gulf states ranging from 0.9 to 1.9) and with their coastal counties generally having among the lowest resilience scores for the states. All GOM states had higher than average risk domain scores and generally lower to average governance scores. This resulted most GOM states having low to average resilience to natural hazards. Most states and their coastal counties have built environment, natural environment and society domain scores below or at national median scores resulting in these factoring generally diminishing the recovery abilities of these states.