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PLAN 647 - Disaster Recovery and Hazard Mitigation  

Last Updated: Jul 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Students are asked to perform a risk assessment for natural disasters, social vulnerability, or business vulnerability at three geographic scales:

Marion County, TX, and Cass County, TX

Ark-Tex and East Texas Regions (Regional Councils)

State of Texas

Suggested LibGuides

GIS | Geographic Information Systems
by Cecilia Smith - Last Updated Jan 12, 2016
4,501 views this year

Resources for Base Maps

  • ArcGIS Explorer Online
    It is a free web application that allows to explore, visualize, and share geospatial data. Use it to access basemaps, data shared by agencies and individual users. It also allows to create an interactive slideshow.
    Data point and shapefiles can also be imported.
  • Free ArcGIS (ArcInfo) 10 Student 1-year License
    Request a free student license. Please fill out the form and return it to Map & GIS Library, or e-mail it to
  • ArcGIS 10 through Open Access Lab (OAL) computers
    You may also access the OAL computers through Virtual Open Access Lab at
  • Fusion Tables
    LibGuide on Fusion Tables by Mark Thomas, Duke University.
    Fusion Tables is a cloud-based web service provided by Google for managing, visualizing, and sharing tabular data such as might be used in database programs, parallel to what Google Docs does for textual information and simple spreadsheet data.

Resources for Hazard Risk Assessment

  • Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database for the United States (SHELDUS)
    SHELDUS is a searchable and downloadable database the provides county-level data on 18 types of natural disaster events in the U.S. It currently covers years from 1960-2010.
  • Texas Hazard Losses 1960-2009: Distribution of Hazard Events (number of events)
    From SHELDUS
  • FEMA Federal Disaster Declarations
    A searchable database of past federal major disaster and emergency declarations. See listings by state.
  • National Hurricane Center (NHC)
    NHC provides information on cyclone and marine forecasts, hurricane tracks and reports and material for hurricane education and outreach. See the NHC Data Archive.
  • National Atlas
    Includes a range of products and services to meet the diverse needs of people who are looking for maps and geographic information about America. Includes information on geologic hazards and climate hazards. Includes map layer for Spatial Hazard Events and Losses for the United States, 1995-2000.
    Click map maker in the top navigation. Zoom to Texas. In Basic Maps choose Counties and County Names. Use the available tools to create maps for hazards.
  • Hazus-MH 2.1
    It contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Hazus uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of disasters.
  • Hazus-MH Seminar Recording
    Seminar by Kevin Mickey, Director of Professional Education and Outreach, the Polis Center, Indiana University-Purdue University (Length: 1:21:06)
  • Texas Hazard Mitigation Package (THMP)
    An Internet-based viewing and distribution tool for digital geographic datasets that can be used by state and local hazard mitigation planners and emergency managers in identifying natural hazards, risk areas and vulnerabilities in Texas.
  • NOAA National Climatic Data Center
    NCDC is an active archive for climate data and information. It focuses primarily on the United States but does include world data.
  • FEMA Map Service Center
    Flood maps
  • Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment
    From the Southern Group of State Foresters

Resources for Social Vulnerability Assessment

  • Social Explorer
    Under the Maps tab see the maps for American Community Survey for demographic information. Under Reports see Demographic Reports. View the helpful training videos under the button Get Started.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    See the tabs for People and Data. Under People > Poverty see Microdata Access.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics
  • TAMU's Texas Coastal Communities Atlas
    **Useful in identifying variables related to vulnerability**
    It provides geographic information to help making informed decisions, and getting answers to questions for a specific area or topic that involves a geographic dimension. It allows identifying and visualizing critical issues related to numerous dimensions of development including environmental degradation, natural hazard risks, and significant changes in land use patterns. Layers available on the viewer are boundaries, policy data (coastal management zones and building code), transportation, census, rainfall, topography, ecological, hydrology, protected areas, recreation areas, development (property values, populated places, dams and wetland permits), natural hazards, coastal development, and offshore risk data. Some open access layers are available to download as shapefiles.
    Social Vulnerability Assessment available at

Business/Economic Vulnerability Assessment

Science & Engineering Librarian

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Pauline Melgoza
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111B Evans Library
(979) 458-2197
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Geospatial Librarian

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Cecilia Smith, Ph.D.
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Map & GIS Library
Evans, 2nd Floor
(979) 862-1052
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