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Lecture 3

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Barbara Murck

Lecture #3 Example: Role of Poverty as a Determinant of Vulnerability Impacts of poverty (based on analysis by Fothergill & Peek, 2003 – a literature review) Disaster stages: 1.Risk perception 2.Preparatory behaviour 3.Warning communication & response 4.Physical impacts 5.Psychological impacts 6.Emergency response 7.Recovery 8.Reconstruction Role of Poverty as a Determinant of Vulnerability 1.Risk perception: The poor perceive risk as more serious. (In almost all other aspects, poverty tends to increase, rather than decrease vulnerability and social impact.) Lack of power…? Greater potential impacts from losses…? Lack of education…? Involvement in high-risk jobs…? 2.Preparatory behaviour: Poverty impedes preparatory behaviour. Lack of planning ability Lack of money to stock up on emergency supplies Lack of education, understanding of hazard Lack of community funds for training of response teams 3.Warning communication & response: Poverty influences who receives and believes formal warnings, and the response. Language and cultural issues Lack of communication networks Not enough money and other resources to take required actions (e.g., no access to transportation) 4.Physical impacts: Poverty affects the degree of physical impacts. Greater death, injury for lower SES More structural damage Lower-cost housing construction Note regarding loss of property: economic costs typically higher for higher SES, but economic impacts higher for lower SES 5.Psychological impacts: Poverty influences who is likely to suffer more, psychologically. Lower SES – greater emotional vulnerability to begin with…? Extra stresses from potential job loss, lack of potential for compensation, etc…? 6.Emergency response: Effectiveness of emergency response varies with SES. The poor have a greater tendency to “fall through the cracks” Perhaps a function of… Illiteracy Mistrust of government officials Isolation in rural areas Bias in disaster reporting 7.Recovery: Lower SES less likely to recover. “Recovery” = from event to +1 year The poor don’t know how to “work the system” More difficulties related to transportation, job Access to financial and personal resources: less insurance, less savings, fewer personal resources 8.Restoration/Reconstruction: Lower SES less likely to regain pre-event standard of living in the long term. At 4+ years after the event… Single-family homes much more likely to be rebuilt than multi-famil
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