Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Civil Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Sarah K. Bauer, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Jeong Eun Ahn, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Jahan Kauser, Ph.D., P.E.


COVID-19, Index, Pandemic, Population, Vulnerability


Public health--New Jersey; Emergency management


Civil and Environmental Engineering


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted countless aspects of everyday life since it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March of 2020. From societal to economic impacts, COVID-19 and its variants will leave a lasting impact on our society and the world. Approximately $9 trillion has been spent on fighting the pandemic around the world. During the pandemic, it became increasingly evident that indices, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), were extremely important for predicting vulnerabilities in a community. The CDC's SVI provides important estimates on which communities will be more susceptible to 'hazard events' by compiling a variety of data from the U.S. census, as well as data from the American Community Survey. The SVI does not necessarily consider the susceptibility of a community to a Global Pandemic such as COVID-19. Thus, the objectives of this research were to develop a COVID-19 Vulnerability Index (CVI) to evaluate the community's susceptibility to future pandemics. The CVI was validated by comparing to real world COVID-19 data from New Jersey's 21 counties. The results of this study indicate that Essex County had the highest CVI and Hunterdon County had the lowest CVI. This is due to factors such as disparity in wealth, population density, minority status, housing conditions and several other factors that were used to compose the CVI.

Available for download on Thursday, June 27, 2024