Climatic variability and shifting weather patterns, resulting in extreme weather events and natural disasters, pose risks to small businesses in the United States. This is particularly true in coastal regions of the southeast United States where extreme events such as hurricanes, flooding, and thunderstorms are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. Yet, the vast majority of small business owners do not have a disaster plan in place and an estimated 40% to 60% of small businesses that have experienced a natural disaster never reopen. This teaching case explores the impact of climatic trends and weather on one location of an outdoor tourism industry business in the coastal community of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The case draws from observed weather and sales data for the local small business. Students will draw from descriptive statistics, statistical analysis, and graphs to explore (a) long-term climatic trends for the business; (b) relationships between small business sales and local weather; and (c) strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats relative to weather conditions and climate change. Instructors can give the body of this document to students. They can also make use of the supplemental teaching notes to assist them with teaching this case.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- EPJ Data Science
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Despite the rising importance of enhancing community resilience to disasters, our understandings on when, how and why communities are able to recover from such extreme events are limited. Here, we study the macroscopic population recovery patterns in disaster affected regions, by observing human mobility trajectories of over 1.9 million mobile phone users across three countries before, during and after five major disasters. We find that, despite the diversity in socio-economic characteristics among the affected regions and the types of hazards, population recovery trends after significant displacement resemble similar patterns after all five disasters. Moreover, the heterogeneity in initial and long-term displacement rates across communities in the three countries were explained by a set of key common factors, including the community’s median income level, population, housing damage rates and the connectedness to other cities. Such insights discovered from large-scale empirical data could assist policymaking in various disciplines for developing community resilience to disasters.
While conceptual definitions provide a foundation for the study of disasters and their impacts, the challenge for researchers and practitioners alike has been to develop objective and rigorous measures of resilience that are generalizable and scalable, taking into account spatiotemporal dynamics in the response and recovery of localized communities. In this paper, we analyze mobility patterns of more than 800,000 anonymized mobile devices in Houston, Texas, representing approximately 35% of the local population, in response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Using changes in mobility behavior before, during, and after the disaster, we empirically define community resilience capacity as a function of the magnitude of impact and time-to-recovery. Overall, we find clear socioeconomic and racial disparities in resilience capacity and evacuation patterns. Our work provides new insight into the behavioral response to disasters and provides the basis for data-driven public sector decisions that prioritize the equitable allocation of resources to vulnerable neighborhoods.
Uncertainty Analysis of Business Interruption Losses in the Philippines Due to the COVID-19 PandemicIn this study, we utilize an input–output (I–O) model to perform an ex-post analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic workforce disruptions in the Philippines. Unlike most disasters that debilitate physical infrastructure systems, the impact of disease pandemics like COVID-19 is mostly concentrated on the workforce. Workforce availability was adversely affected by lockdowns as well as by actual illness. The approach in this paper is to use Philippine I–O data for multiple years and generate Dirichlet probability distributions for the Leontief requirements matrix (i.e., the normalized sectoral transactions matrix) to address uncertainties in the parameters. Then, we estimated the workforce dependency ratio based on a literature survey and then computed the resilience index in each economic sector. For example, sectors that depend heavily on the physical presence of their workforce (e.g., construction, agriculture, manufacturing) incur more opportunity losses compared to sectors where workforce can telework (e.g., online retail, education, business process outsourcing). Our study estimated the 50th percentile economic losses in the range of PhP 3.3 trillion (with telework) to PhP 4.8 trillion (without telework), which is consistent with independently published reports. The study provides insights into the direct and indirect economic impacts of workforce disruptions in emerging economies and will contributemore »
COVID-GAN: Estimating Human Mobility Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic through Spatio-Temporal Conditional Generative Adversarial NetworksThe COVID-19 pandemic has posed grand challenges to policy makers, raising major social conflicts between public health and economic resilience. Policies such as closure or reopen of businesses are made based on scientific projections of infection risks obtained from infection dynamics models. While most parameters in infection dynamics models can be set using domain knowledge of COVID-19, a key parameter - human mobility - is often challenging to estimate due to complex social contexts and limited training data under escalating COVID-19 conditions. To address these challenges, we formulate the problem as a spatio-temporal data generation problem and propose COVID-GAN, a spatio-temporal Conditional Generative Adversarial Network, to estimate mobility (e.g., changes in POI visits) under various real-world conditions (e.g., COVID-19 severity, local policy interventions) integrated from multiple data sources. We also introduce a domain-constraint correction layer in the generator of COVID-GAN to reduce the difficulty of learning. Experiments using urban mobility data derived from cell phone records and census data show that COVID-GAN can well approximate real-world human mobility responses, and that the proposed domain-constraint based correction can greatly improve solution quality.