Social Vulnerability to Long-Duration Power Outages

Social Vulnerability to Long-Duration Power Outages

Jesse Dugan, Dahlia Byles, Salman Mohagheghi

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 85 (2023) 103501

Although long-duration power outages can lead to significant damages to the local economy, the human catastrophe that can potentially unfold due to the failure of essential services can far outweigh the financial damages incurred.

Furthermore, power outages do not impact individuals equally, and access to proper resources (or lack thereof) can significantly affect how individuals deal with long-duration outages.

A long-duration power outage is defined as an interruption in electric service that lasts longer than typical outages at the distribution level and can extend from several hours to days or even weeks.

  • Data Model in fig. 1: Proposed methodology to construct a 3-dimensional social vulnerability index to power outages.
  • Table 2: Factors and variables for each dimension
  • aggregating three independent scores of health, preparedness, and evacuation
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Suggestions: More granular data could potentially be obtained from surveys conducted by city officials, public relations of power utilities, federal institutions, and other non-governmental organizations; however, such datasets may not be as accurate and complete as the US Census, and, when obtained through surveys, are likely to suffer from lower participation rates during data collection



cf. 302 hazard information profiles
TL0013 / TECHNOLOGICAL / Infrastructure Failure
Power Outage/ or Blackout

The above paper on social vulnerability is one of the very many much more data-specific suggestions for Information Models that are definitely urgently needed for implementation of systems to support planning, anticipatory action, first response, technical and social assistance as well as the long-term phases of recovery.

Needless to say that there is due need of operational information demands and appropriate implementations that models and support actions, decisions, operational stakeholders and affected citizens resp. victims.

Horst Kremers


Risk Information Management - Community of Experts