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Hazard Mitigation and Capacity in Utah Census Places

Authors: Matthew Wheelwright
Owners: Courtney Flint · iUTAH Data Manager · Matthew Wheelwright
Resource type:Generic
Created:July 22, 2016, 8:37 p.m.
Last updated: Jan. 6, 2017, 9:18 p.m. by iUTAH Data Manager


This dataset contains important categories (per an extensive literature review) in relation to vulnerability to water hazards within Utah at the Census Place level (i.e. cities). Although social and physical vulnerability to water hazards (i.e. flooding) data has been collected extensively in many coastal areas, this is a costly problem in Utah and many other non-coastal regions. The variables shown here are categorized by type and collection method. 1. General data is shown for all Census Places in Utah including County, Geocode, and Total Population. These are taken from the 2010 Census. 2. Literature suggests that there are various approaches which local governments take to mitigate the impacts of flood events. Indicators of these approaches are captured in the section entitled Web Survey. A web survey was conducted of each and every census place in Utah. The data includes evaluations of content including water hazard education, land use restrictions described in the code, freeboard requirements, and emergency operations plan implementations. 3. Information about the local government including their planning and building inspector staff was collected using a phone survey along with emails and website investigations. 4. FEMA data was consolidated from FEMA's website showing census places with current insurance premium discounts achieved by demonstrating compliance with certain federal requirements. It also includes data on policies and losses. 5. A social vulnerability index was created by our team for this project and details can be found here: http://repository.iutahepscor.org/dataset/social-vulnerability-at-the-census-place-level. This dataset includes summary findings from the SoVI index. 6. As housing is recognized in the literature as a contributer to natural hazard vulnerability, important housing statistics were defined and created from Census data. These include housing age, median value, and renter occupied statistics. A standardized rating of building code effectiveness is also included from a recent Utah Hazard Mitigation Report. 7. Event data is summarized for number of events and estimated monetary damages from another of our team's datasets found here: http://repository.iutahepscor.org/dataset/noaa-storm-events. This NOAA dataset helps us understand the nature of past experience and physical exposure to water hazards. 8. As this dataset is focused on water hazard exposure, two measurements were calculated for each census place reflecting the percentage area of the city included in the defined special flood hazard area.

Together these data paint a picture of Utah's vulnerabilities to flood hazards and potential exposure to other natural hazard events. County level statistics were also collected and add insight at that spatial scale. they can be found here: http://repository.iutahepscor.org/dataset/utah-s-counties-sensitivity-to-water-hazards. The variables are different as prescribed in the readme file there.

Further details of the data collection methods can be found in the data dictionary within the spreadsheet workbook or in the ReadMe file included as a resource here.


Building Code,Building Inspectors,CRS,Consultants,Education,FEMA,Flood Insurance,HAZ,ISO,Mitigation,Municipal Code,NFIP,Planners,Planning Capacity,Planning Consultants,SHELDUS,Utah Communities,Utah Places,Water Hazards,freeboard,iUTAH

How to cite

Wheelwright, M. (2017). Hazard Mitigation and Capacity in Utah Census Places, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/cc7cfbc730634e1985a3051e2ab805f3

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


Sharing status:

  • Public Resource  Public
  • Sharable Resource  Shareable



 Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:  WGS 84 EPSG:4326
 Coordinate Units:  Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name: Utah Census Places

North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


 Start Date:
 End Date:


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The people or organizations that created the intellectual content of the resource.

Name Organization Address Phone
Matthew Wheelwright


People or organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

Name Organization Address Phone
Joanna Ganning University of Utah
Courtney Flint
Name Value
Observed Variables Total Population, Presence of Water Hazard Info on website, Water Hazard Info is clearly linked to home page, Water Hazard info is local specific, Code regulates land use, Code includes freeboard requirement, Freeboard is greater than minimum requirement, Presence of local emergency operations plan, Presence of Hazard mitigation plan, # full time planners, # full time building inspectors, Currently employ planning consultants, CRS classification, % discount for current CRS, FEMA Policy Losses #, FEMA policy losses $, Flood Insurance Policies currently in force, SoVI Index Score, ISO Building Code rating, Median Year Structures Built, % Housing built pre 1975, Median Housing Value, % Renter Occupied, # Flood events, $ flood damage, # Contamination events, % city addresses within special flood hazard area, % City area within Special Flood Hazard Area
Variable Description Various planning capacity variables
Data Collection Method Phone survey of planning department capacity and relationships. Website review of water hazard education, mitigation techniques, and preparedness. Utah State's 2014 Hazard Mitigation Plan. Consolidation from NFIP site data. NOAA event data. Social Vulnerability Index calculation. Census housing data. Special Flood Hazard Area calculations.


This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation iUTAH-innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability 1208732


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