The Social Vulnerability Index (SOVI) measures the social vulnerability of U.S. counties to environmental hazards. The index is a comparative metric that helps users examine differences in social vulnerability among counties. SOVI graphically illustrates the geographic variation in social vulnerability. It is a valuable tool for policy makers and practitioners because it shows differences in capacity for preparedness and response, as well as areas where resources might be used most effectively to reduce vulnerability. SOVI is also useful as an indicator in determining the level of recovery from disasters.
Through a partnership with the University of South Carolina (USC) and funding via South Carolina Sea Grant and the NOAA Coastal Services Center, the SOVI method has now been applied to Census 2000 block groups for all coastal states, providing a more detailed look at a community’s social vulnerability.
All SOVI data and methods were developed by the USC Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. For more information, visit http://webra.cas.sc.edu/hvri/products/sovi_32.aspx