Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cooke, H. William

Committee Member

O'Hara, Charles

Committee Member

Rodgers, C. John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Emergency managers are faced with the challenge of acting quickly after a hurricane but rarely have detailed information available about type and amount of damage. In response to this need, linear additive geospatial models based on logistic regression analyses of driving variables including wind, rain, surge, topography were developed and automation routines programmed that rapidly and accurately predict a variety of damage types. Since a preponderance of damage is associated with falling trees, over 2000 post-Katrina forested plots were used to fit and validate independent models for hardwood blowdown and pine shear. Additional models using peak wind gusts and maximum sustained winds respectively were fully automated. Most importantly, total model run time was decreased from 36 to 5 hours for the more complicated forest damage models. The models have been vetted by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and will be part of MEMA’s hurricane action response plans.