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Demographics of Social Vulnerability

There is a variation in potential in the way different people handle cases of extreme events. People also vary when it comes to the destructive potential of their homes and even workplaces, not leaving out transport systems and the location of recreational activities and shopping which are usually used in their daily activities (Birnkrant et al. 2018). Social isolation is a major concern when it comes to social vulnerability. A decrease in the number and frequency of communication in society with peers like neighbors and coworkers are used in measuring vulnerability.

Social vulnerability usually arises from a lack of absence of psychological flexibility, economic assets, social network integration, and political power are usually different in various demographic groups. Some components of social vulnerability may be predicted by the use of demographic characteristics such as ethnicity, income, education, gender, etc. To add to that, there is a tendency for demographic groups to be distributed in a systematic manner across the landscape of every community. There will always be a variation in in-group concentration of different neighborhoods even with the existence of weak geographic lines found between different groups of people.

Demographic predictors of social vulnerability such as gender, ethnicity, and income are normally associated with hazardous exposures since the partitions of the population with the least economic, social, and political resources tend to occupy geographical areas with high risks of behind affected by hazardous events. In other words, the demographic predictors of social vulnerability are normally accompanied by structural vulnerability because you will find that these people who have lower financial status normally occupy areas that have poor buildings which are not well maintained. This exposes them to higher risks of being affected by physical impacts like the loss of properties and excessive injuries.

Social vulnerability refers to the ability of dangerous events to cause a change in the normal behavior of people (Waugh 2015). It is a situation whereby organizations, societies, and people are unable to withstand unfavorable impacts arising from various stressors affecting them.

The study of social vulnerability provides important to emergency officers in various ways. For instance, Technical Guidance for Hazards Analysis book outlines various procedures to be used in case of an emergency. This will help the managers have an easy time when tackling specific problems in different areas. The information will also enable them to understand the existence of disasters that can lead to the initiation of others. For example, earthquakes can cause dam failures, landslides, and surface faulting among others (Sylves, 2014). The use of GIS would be of advantage to the managers since it will enable them to identify areas that are exposed to multiple hazards, and easily identify methods that would prevent excessive destruction in case of any disaster. When it comes to recovery phases, after identifying risks that arise from environmental hazards, the emergency manager needs to identify the types of residential, commercial as well as industrial land being used in that area. It is essential for them to know available facilities in each VZ which are highly vulnerable to the population. This will enable them to know the available equipment and services readily available that are going to help in their recovery process. They include things like hospitals, and mental institutions among others. The information also enables the emergency managers to identify risks to which they are being exposed to in their attempt to deal with various disasters. For instance, they are informed about extreme heat which can act as a silent killer in a given community. This is because high humidity affects the normal functioning of the regulatory system of the body. There are high chances of one being affected by heat disorders in a case where the amount of heat removed from the body is higher than the one entering. This helps them to become cautious.


Birnkrant, D. J., Bushby, K., Bann, C. M., Apkon, S. D., Blackwell, A., Colvin, M. K., … & Naprawa, J. (2018). Diagnosis and management of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, part 3: primary care, emergency management, psychosocial care, and transitions of care across the lifespan. The Lancet Neurology.

Sylves, R. (2014). Disaster policy and politics: Emergency management and homeland security. CQ Press

Waugh, W. L. (2015). Living with Hazards, Dealing with Disasters: An Introduction to Emergency Management: An Introduction to Emergency Management. Routledge.



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