Example: Role of Poverty as a Determinant of Vulnerability
Impacts of poverty (based on analysis by Fothergill & Peek, 2003 – a literature review)
3.Warning communication & response
Role of Poverty as a Determinant of Vulnerability
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…?
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
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
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…?
Effectiveness of emergency response varies with SES.
The poor have a greater tendency to “fall through the cracks”
Perhaps a function of…
Mistrust of government officials
Isolation in rural areas
Bias in disaster reporting
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
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