Adaptive Capacity to Floods: A Case Study of Rincón, PR

The detrimental effects of floods and tsunamis in Caribbean islands are well known and numerous efforts, such as the Tsunami Warning Program, have focused on mitigating the effects of these natural hazards. The construct of vulnerability is often used as an attempt to quantify how susceptible geographical locations are to different natural hazards, and it is typically depicted as a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. This work focuses on developing an instrument to measure the vulnerability dimension of adaptive capacity, which, in turn, can be characterized in terms of how well individuals prepare for (mitigation), address (response), and overcome (recovery) any given natural hazard. The instrument was developed to capture all three dimensions of adaptive capacity and targeted floods in the municipality of Rincón, PR (including both residents and tourists). The questionnaire was carried out in a series of interviews on a stratified sample of size 138. Results will include the validation of the instrument using Cronbach’s alpha for the three dimensions of adaptive capacity.

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