Homeland Security- Demographics of Social Vulnerability Essay

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24-7-custom-writing-serviceHomeland Security- Demographics of Social Vulnerability Assignment

Homeland Security- Demographics of Social Vulnerability Paper

 

 

A Discussion of the Meaning and Demographics of Social Vulnerability

Social vulnerability is a term used to refer to or describe “the demographic and socio-economic factors that affect the resilience of communities to disasters” (Flanagan, Gregory, Hallisey, Heitgerd, & Lewis, 2011, p. 1). According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (2011), the social vulnerability of a people refers to how well they are able to respond to and recover from behavioral changes brought about by natural and human disasters. It is the capacity of the local populations to recover from, resist, or cope with the effects of natural catastrophes such as floods, hurricanes, and terror attacks. Accordingly, there is no random distribution of social vulnerability both demographically and geographically as it tends to vary across households and communities based on factors such as income disparities. 

 Some of these social factors or demographics that account for or indicate social vulnerability to disasters include age (65 years and above), low income and poverty, political and climatic changes, socioeconomic inequalities, urbanization, land pressure, race or ethnicity, and fast or high population growth (Dolan & Messen, 2012). 

According to Singh, Eghdami, and Singh (2014), factors such as marginalization or inequalities, environmental, social, and economic processes or factors, social exclusion, ethnicity, occupation, and poverty also increase or determine social vulnerability to disasters. Also, race and class are important demographics of social vulnerability as was witnessed during the Hurricane Katrina. According to the author, class, ethnicity, and race can be used in explaining social vulnerability in the South during the Hurricane Katrina in that in many cities and neighborhoods here, the increase in the special needs, transients, homeless, and elderly population coupled by the high disparity between the poor and the rich presented a daunting challenge in evacuation efforts. In New Orleans, only those who had personal resources safely left the city while those who depended on the welfare check-mainly the young, old, single mothers, poor, and black people- were left behind to face the wrath of the storms.............................GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY