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Social vulnerability is an indication of the sensitivity of a population to natural hazards and its ability to respond and recover from them. Social vulnerability assessment is important because it helps to identify the most vulnerable communities that require relatively higher levels of support to minimise disastrous outcomes in the event of natural hazards. A robust approach of computing social vulnerability- the strength-based social vulnerability index (SSVI)- has been applied to comparatively assess and rank the suburbs in the Illawarra region of NSW.

The SSVI approach is novel because it accounts for the resourcefulness of people within communities to self-organise and minimise their vulnerability to natural hazards. Several aspects of social vulnerability are covered, including in relation to culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD-specific SSVI), low-income households (Income-specific SSVI), highly dependent children aged 0-4 years (Child-specific SSVI), people living with disability or requiring assistance for daily activities (Disability-specific SSVI), and the elderly population 65+ years (Elderly-specific SSVI).

Each suburb can have a result ranging from 0 to 1, where 0.0-0.2 means “Very Low Vulnerability”, 0.2-0.4 is “Low Vulnerability”, 0.4-0.6 is “Median Vulnerability”, 0.6-0.8 is “High Vulnerability” and 0.8-1.0 is “Very High Vulnerability”.

Further information can be found in the following journal article: Cite this article as:

Ogie, R.I. & Pradhan, B. Int J Disaster Risk Sci (2019).,

The author can be contacted - Dr Robert Ogie,

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