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Assessing Vulnerability and Enhancing Resilience Through AVERT: A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying Your Target Regions


The Assessment and Visualization for Environmental Resiliency Tool (AVERT) serves as a powerful tool for understanding the vulnerability and resilience of communities in the United States to environmental hazards. By leveraging AVERT, decision-makers can prioritize resilience-building strategies and allocate resources effectively.

Getting Started: Identifying Your AVERT Regions

The initial step in utilizing AVERT involves identifying the regions of interest. This process can be approached in several ways, depending on the specific goals and requirements of the user.

1. Administrative Boundaries:

Using administrative boundaries, such as counties or municipalities, offers a straightforward approach for region identification. This method is particularly suitable when working with existing plans or datasets that are organized geographically.

2. Watersheds:

Defining regions based on watersheds allows for a more comprehensive examination of water-related hazards, such as flooding or water scarcity. This approach considers the interconnectedness of water systems and enables the assessment of vulnerability and resilience across entire watersheds.

3. Custom Boundaries:

For more tailored analysis, users can draw custom boundaries that align with specific project areas, community planning zones, or other criteria of interest. This flexibility allows for precise targeting of resilience efforts.

4. AVERT-Defined Regions:

AVERT provides predefined regions, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Regions and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Regions. These regions offer a standardized framework for assessing vulnerability across larger geographic areas.

Example: Identifying Coastal Regions Using AVERT

To demonstrate the process of identifying AVERT regions, let's consider the example of coastal regions.

Step 1: Access AVERT

Visit the AVERT website and create an account to access the online platform.

Step 2: Select Coastal Regions

Under the "Regions" tab, select the "NOAA Coastal Regions" layer to view the predefined coastal regions of the United States.

Step 3: Zoom In and Explore

Zoom in on the map to explore specific coastal regions of interest. Each region is identified by a unique number and name.

Step 4: Export Regions

Once the desired coastal regions have been selected, click on the "Export" button to download the region boundaries in a shapefile or GeoJSON format for further analysis.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the primary approaches described above, several other factors should be considered when identifying AVERT regions:

  • Scale: The scale of the analysis should be aligned with the intended use of the results. For local planning, smaller regions may be more appropriate, while larger regions might be suitable for regional or national assessments.
  • Data Availability: Consider the availability of relevant data for the regions of interest. Selecting regions with sufficient data will facilitate comprehensive vulnerability and resilience analysis.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging with local stakeholders, including community members, decision-makers, and subject matter experts, can help ensure that the identified regions are relevant and meaningful to the specific context.


Identifying AVERT regions is a crucial step in leveraging the tool for assessing vulnerability and enhancing resilience. By carefully considering the various approaches and factors outlined in this guide, users can effectively target their analysis and develop informed strategies for building resilient communities.

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