Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project
Implemented by the Organization of American States
Unit of Sustainable Development and Environment
for the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Caribbean Regional Program


CDMP Progress Bulletin

Regional Storm Hazard Information

Bulletin Date: April 2000

To effectively mitigate the effects of storm hazards (surge, high winds and wave action) on existing or future development, it is necessary to understand the distribution, magnitude and frequency of the hazard at the location of interest. Although hurricanes are an annual phenomenon in the Caribbean, the limited historical record of hurricane strikes and associated storm effects makes these factors difficult to determine. A valid storm hazard model can play a significant role in mapping storm hazards by filling the gaps in the database of storm effects, providing a sufficient database for statistical assessment and mapping.

Using the TAOS model, CDMP has produced maximum likely estimates for surge and wave height and wind speeds throughout the Caribbean basin for 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-year return periods. Estimates were made for each cell in a 30 arcsecond (approx 1km x 1 km) grid, covering the entire Caribbean. This information will be useful to coastal engineers, regional planners, emergency management personnel and lending and insurance institutions in assessing vulnerability to tropical storm-related hazards throughout the region.

Electronic atlases of maps depicting these storm hazard estimates have been produced. The atlases are available on the final project CDs distributed by the CDMP. The atlases are also available from CIMH.

CDMP home page: Project Contacts Page Last Updated: 20 April 2001