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Disasters, community vulnerability, and poverty: The intersection between economics and emergency management

Erik Wood, MS, Tim Frazier, PhD

Abstract


Climate change will create more intense and frequent disasters, resulting in the increased exposure of the most vulnerable populations. It is debatable whether the vulnerability research that follows major disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, has resulted in increased resiliency of those who were the most vulnerable during that disaster. It may even be plausible to suggest that research that exposes countless vulnerabilities within a population is guilty of helping none. Through support from a focused review of the related literature, research findings include the following: (1) post-disaster research analysis tends not to present an actionable hierarchy for public agencies and community organizations to prioritize efforts, (2) the most common thread that runs through societal vulnerability in daily life, and opposite the force multiplying effects of climate change, is poverty; and (3) climate change is likely to facilitate more post-disaster windows of opportunity characterized by increased public consonance that can galvanize transformative change at a local level.

Keywords


poverty, social justice, economic risk, whole community, vulnerability

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.0563

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