State of the art of hurricane vulnerability estimation methods: A review

Gonzalo Pita, Jean Paul Pinelli, Kurt Gurley, Judith Mitrani-Reiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper presents a comprehensive review of methods to assess building vulnerability for hurricane catastrophe models. The review identified five main types of assessment approaches judging by the underlying methodology: past-loss data, enhanced damage data, heuristic, physics, and simulation. The applicability of past-loss data-only vulnerability methods proved insufficient for the diversity of situations insurance companies faced. Therefore, modelers complemented this method with engineering and meteorology expert knowledge; these are the enhanced-data models. Expert opinion and subjective probabilities drive the heuristic models; these were short lived in the United States, but are still used when data are scarce. Component-based methods were developed as a more realistic alternative to enhanced-data models by assessing vulnerability within an engineering framework complemented with expert opinion. Simulation models enhanced the physical models with a probabilistic simulation of the wind-structure interaction and more realistic assessment of the hazard. This paper also reviews some influential postdisaster studies utilized for validation. In addition, this paper presents a temporal and spatial map showing linkages between models. The development of interior damage models, as well as the future of vulnerability models and possible applications, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04014022
JournalNatural Hazards Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'State of the art of hurricane vulnerability estimation methods: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this