Natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes exert a heavy toll of victims and economic losses every year. Yet, concentrations of population in hazard-prone-areas, the growth of infrastructure and climate change are aggravating the risk of future losses. Consequently, adequate interventions must be implemented to mitigate the damaging effects of natural hazards. To do this, public agencies, non-profits, and companies formulate mitigation actions such as emergency preparedness plans and building retrofits. Catastrophe models are tools to inform all these efforts, which simulate the socioeconomic risk resulting from the interaction of geophysical events and the spatial distribution of infrastructure.
This course reviews the natural risk analysis framework, its methodologies, assumptions, and uncertainties. The course blends a treatment of theoretical foundations, the use of tools and data sources, and hands-on experience in modeling natural risk.