26 Apr 2022
26 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Design and Testing of a Multi-Hazard Risk Rapid Assessment Questionnaire for Hill Communities in the Indian Himalayan Region

Shivani Chouhan1 and Mahua Mukherjee2 Shivani Chouhan and Mahua Mukherjee
  • 1Research Scholar, Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India
  • 2Professor, Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India

Abstract. The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) is prone to multiple hazards and suffers great loss of life and damage to infrastructure and property every year. Poor engineering construction, unplanned and unregulated development, and relatively low awareness and capacity in communities for supporting disaster risk mitigation are, directly and indirectly, contributing to the risk and severity of disasters.

A comprehensive review of various existing survey forms for Risk assessment has found that the survey questionnaires themselves have not been designed or optimized, specifically, for hill communities. Hill communities are distinctly different from low-land communities, with distinct characteristics and susceptibility to specific hazard and risk scenarios. Previous studies have, on the whole, underrepresented the specific characteristics of hill communities, and the increasing threat of natural disasters in the IHR creates an imperative to design hill-specific questionnaires for multi-hazards risk assessment.

The main objective of this study is to design and test a hill-specific risk assessment survey form that contains more accurate information for hill communities and hill-based infrastructure and allows for the surveys to be completed efficiently and in less time. The enhanced survey form is described herein and is validated through a pilot survey at several locations in the hills of Uttarakhand, India. The survey form covers data related to vulnerability from Earthquake (Rapid Visual Screening), Flood, Landslide, High Wind, Industrial, etc. The proposed form is self-explanatory, pictorial with easy terminologies, and is divided into various sections for a better understanding of the surveyor, etc.

The testing and validation process confirmed that the survey questionnaire performed well and met expectations in its application. The form is readily transferrable to other locations in the IHR and could be internationalized and used throughout the Himalaya.

Shivani Chouhan and Mahua Mukherjee

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-91', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Jun 2022
    • RC2: 'Reply on RC1', Anonymous Referee #2, 30 Jun 2022
      • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Shivani Chouhan, 29 Jul 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Shivani Chouhan, 29 Jul 2022

Shivani Chouhan and Mahua Mukherjee

Shivani Chouhan and Mahua Mukherjee


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Short summary
The Himalayas are prone to multi-hazard. To minimize loss, proper planning and execution in the right direction is necessary. Data collection is base for any risk assessment process. This enhanced survey form is easy to understand, pictorial and identify high-risk components of any building (structural & non-structural) and campus from multi-hazards. Its results can help to utilize the budget in a prioritized way. This study is gone through SWOT of the existing risk assessment form.