# Can you put numbers into the disaster-risk equation? (Edexcel A2)

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#1
In my practice A2 unit 4 exam I put numbers into the disaster risk equation, but my teacher said he didn't understand. I did:

Risk (R) = ( Hazards (H) * Vulnerability (V) ) / Capacity to cope (C)

I wanted to get the vulnerability of Haiti, so I rearranged the equation:

RC = HV
V= RC/H

The earthquake in Haiti was magnitude 7, so I set H as 70 out of 100, made Risk 100 out of 100 due to how big the risk was, and the non-existent capacity to cope at 1 out of 100.

V = (100*1)/70 = 1.42

I then said that for a place with all the letters having values of 1, that Haiti was 42% more vulnerable than a 'perfect' place (obviously that perfect place doesn't exist, just for the sake of argument), and that doing this with a more developed place like the USA or the UK would give a value closer to 1.

Can this be done or am I just being stupid here?
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#2
Anybody?
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#3
Bump.
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8 years ago
#4
Nothing mathematically wrong here so i would assume so
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8 years ago
#5
(Original post by Snowfreeze)
In my practice A2 unit 4 exam I put numbers into the disaster risk equation, but my teacher said he didn't understand. I did:

Risk (R) = ( Hazards (H) * Vulnerability (V) ) / Capacity to cope (C)

I wanted to get the vulnerability of Haiti, so I rearranged the equation:

RC = HV
V= RC/H

The earthquake in Haiti was magnitude 7, so I set H as 70 out of 100, made Risk 100 out of 100 due to how big the risk was, and the non-existent capacity to cope at 1 out of 100.

V = (100*1)/70 = 1.42

I then said that for a place with all the letters having values of 1, that Haiti was 42% more vulnerable than a 'perfect' place (obviously that perfect place doesn't exist, just for the sake of argument), and that doing this with a more developed place like the USA or the UK would give a value closer to 1.

Can this be done or am I just being stupid here?
It has been a while since I covered this, but I faintly remember being told that you couldn't actually get a value from this as it is hard to quantify H,V,C.

We were taught that you could use it too compare different risks as lower H or V and/or a higher C would reduce the risk. Taking for example the earthquake in Haiti compared to the recent earthquakes in New Zealand. NZ has a higher capacity to cope and is probably less vulnerable therefore the risk is smaller than in Haiti. But as there isn't a set scale for H,V or C then you can't really give a value for risk.

Hope that helps!
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#6
(Original post by Green Epee)
It has been a while since I covered this, but I faintly remember being told that you couldn't actually get a value from this as it is hard to quantify H,V,C.

We were taught that you could use it too compare different risks as lower H or V and/or a higher C would reduce the risk. Taking for example the earthquake in Haiti compared to the recent earthquakes in New Zealand. NZ has a higher capacity to cope and is probably less vulnerable therefore the risk is smaller than in Haiti. But as there isn't a set scale for H,V or C then you can't really give a value for risk.

Hope that helps!
But if I told the examiner what values I was giving for H,C and C, and how I thought of those values, wouldn't it work? I never understood the point of the equation if you cant put numbers in it; you can't just divide by capacity to cope f there is no value. It seems to be just a statement to compare between different countries' capacities rather than an equation.

Trying to be original in the hope to gain more marks
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8 years ago
#7
(Original post by Snowfreeze)
But if I told the examiner what values I was giving for H,C and C, and how I thought of those values, wouldn't it work? I never understood the point of the equation if you cant put numbers in it; you can't just divide by capacity to cope f there is no value. It seems to be just a statement to compare between different countries' capacities rather than an equation.

Trying to be original in the hope to gain more marks
I suppose as long as you mentioned how there is no set scale for the numbers you used and they were just estimated you could probably do it. It would depend on the examiner and mark scheme though. Have you asked your teacher about this?
Maybe if you expained it generally first, how a lower H and/or V would lower the risk and a higher capacity to cope would also lower it, you could then give an example with numbers. Say you are comparing 3 places A,B and C. If A is the most vulnerable and C the least vulnerable then on your scale of 1-100 then you give A as 90, B as 50 and C as 10. Just make it really obvious how you come up with the numbers.

I understand what you are trying to do but there is no real answer. Try looking at past markschemes and seeing what they say. Or ask your teacher, they may have a better idea of what the examiners are looking for. Good luck with it.
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5 years ago
#8
Fair
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