Having a mechanism for understanding a community’s vulnerabilities and capacities in a systematic fashion is necessary for fully translating the concepts of social vulnerability into research and practice. Community vulnerability assessments (CVAs) can put valuable information into the hands of all decision makers, including the public, policy makers, emergency managers, and numerous other members of a community. Most importantly, CVA can incorporate community voices along with traditional data sources, providing a mechanism for participation and a basis for action for all potentially affected groups. This chapter focuses on CVA approaches, including data needs and outcomes.

As a result of this chapter, readers should be able to: