Yuan, S.; Guo, J., and Zhao, X., 2017. Integrated weighting technique for coastal vulnerability to storm surges. In: Zhi, Y. and Guido Aldana, P.A. (eds.), Sustainability of Water Resources and the Development of Coastal Environments: Select Proceedings from the 2016 International Conference on Water Resource and Environment (WRE2016). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 80, pp. 6–12. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Weighting different indicators plays a critical role in quantifying vulnerability to natural disasters. However, there is no consensus about which weighting method performs best. This paper proposed a method to aggregate different weighting techniques to quantify vulnerability to storm surges using social, economic, and environmental indicators. Viewing vulnerability through exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability dimensions, a geographic information system was used to establish areas of vulnerability in eleven coastal provinces in China. The results suggested that the spatial distribution of vulnerability to storm surges varies drastically from one area to another, and does not follow expected geographic boundaries. The study found that Shandong province is the most vulnerable area and Shanghai is the least vulnerable. Subgroup weights showed that exposure and adaptive capacity drive more vulnerability compared to sensitivity. This analysis can enable policy makers in disaster management to identify areas' strengths and weaknesses, and integrate these criteria into more robust vulnerability evaluations.