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The United States relies on a number of infrastructure systems — roads, the electric grid, ports, telecommunications networks, refineries, and the like — for carrying out basic social and economic functions. Disruptions of these systems could impose potentially significant economic, social, environmental and national security consequences.

This report serves as the technical documentation and reference document for the data, methods, and analytic approach used in the analysis of national exposures to infrastructure from natural disasters. The analysis includes 11 natural hazards and five infrastructure sectors. Analytic findings about current and future exposures of infrastructure in the United States drawn from this data analysis are documented in a separate report. The report documents how each infrastructure type and hazard is represented in data sets to act as a reference for any use of the data. For each analyzed hazard, this report includes a brief background that describes potential infrastructure impacts, and relevant metrics; a list of sources used in compiling hazard data; an overview of existing methods and applications or modifications used to analyze regional exposure to varying levels of hazard severity. When analyzing infrastructure exposures with this data, it is important to understand this information to ensure that the analysis results reflect the scope, precision, and completeness of the data. Failure to appropriately use the data could result in analysis that misrepresents exposures.

The report also provides an overview of all hazard and infrastructure data used to complete this analysis. Analytic findings about current and future exposures of infrastructure in the United States drawn from this data analysis are documented in a separate report.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Climate-Adjusted Hazards

  • Chapter Three

    Hazards Without Climate Adjustment

  • Chapter Four

    Infrastructure Data Collection Process

  • Chapter Five

    Approach to Characterizing Infrastructure Vulnerability to Hazards

The research described in this report was prepared for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Infrastructure Protection and conducted in the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Center (HSDC), a joint center of two research divisions: RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment and the RAND National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.