Title

Disaster Vulnerability of Businesses in the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake

Publication Date

2002

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This paper examines the impacts of the February, 2001, Nisqually earthquake on businesses. Focusing on two hard-hit business districts in Seattle, the study investigates the extent of losses, patterns of disparities, and underlying loss factors. A conceptual framework is proposed of how business vulnerability dimensions contribute to disaster loss. Interviews were conducted with owners and managers of 107 businesses. Data were gathered on impacts, methods of finance, and disaster preparedness. Results showed that business losses were much greater than what standard statistical data would imply. Analysis found that a composite index of vulnerability—based on business sector, size, and building occupancy tenure—provides a very powerful predictor of business loss. Physical damage was a much weaker predictor of loss. Moreover, business recovery was influenced not only by characteristics of the business itself, but also by conditions in the neighborhood.

Publication Title

Global Environmental Change Part B: Environmental Hazards

Volume

4

Issue

2/3

First Page

59

Last Page

71

DOI

10.1016/S1464-2867(03)00007-X

Version

pre-print, post-print

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