Emergency Management Planning - Risk & Vulnerability

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Emergency Management Planning - Risk & Vulnerability

  1. 1. Emergency Management PlanningPLAN 4015/6015: Risk & VulnerabilityAnuradha MukherjiAssistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
  2. 2. VULNERABILITYIan Davis and Colleagues (1994). At Risk: Natural Hazards, Peoples Vulnerability & Disasters 1. Social, political and economic environment as much a cause as the natural environment 2. Exposure to risk is different depending on living condition 3. Events such as famines, drought, biological, floods, coastal storms, earthquakes, volcanos & landslides are hazards by themselves, but can become disasters (loss of life and property) under certain conditions. 4. Can include macro forces such as urbanization, loss of forests or at the micro level, lack of mobility, insurance, community preparedness. 5. “Vulnerability is defined as the characteristics of a person or group that influence their capacity to anticipate, cope with, and recover from the impact of a hazard” 6. Some variables are: class, occupation, ethnicity, gender, health, disability, age, and immigration status (legal or illegal). 7. “So Vulnerability is very relative – some experience higher level of vulnerability”
  3. 3. VULNERABILITY & ASSETSIan Davis and Colleagues (1994). At Risk: Natural Hazards, Peoples Vulnerability & Disasters Some Important Points on Vulnerability: 1. Vulnerability does not necessarily equate to financial poverty 2. Vulnerability to loss during a hazard creates disaster at all levels 3. E.g., Vulnerable to loss of life, health, livelihood, resources, assets, etc – not to be equated with capacity or ability to cope 4. Absolute and Relative Loss (wealthy greater absolute loss; poor greater relative loss) 5. Wealthy also suffer losses in a disaster – but they hold resources such as home insurance, personal savings, financial assets, and stable employment – so able to recover faster 6. Low-income groups – have fewer assets, usually no insurance, no access to financial resources, and less diversified sources of income 7. Assets can include: Financial (cast, savings, loans, pensions); Physical (house, land, livestock, tools, equipment, gold), human (education, skills, knowledge, health); social (kinship networks, relations based on trust, access to institutions) 8. More assets mean less vulnerability to long-term negative impacts of a disaster and ability to cope with and recover
  4. 4. VULNERABILITY IN THE UNITED STATES Susan Cutter and Colleagues (2006). Moral Hazard, Social Catastrophe1. In 2003 more that 159 million Americans (53 percent of US population) lived in a coastal county, up from 28 percent in 19802. Growth is most visible along nation‟s hurricane coasts – Cape Cod to Miami & Texas to Florida Keys3. Not just seasonal population but year round residents – elderly retirees or service industry workers in tourism4. Coastal residents are more racially & ethnically diverse than in past decades – low wage jobs have fuelled the diversity5. Rich live right along the shoreline and income gradient decreases with distance away from the water‟s edge6. American dream of single detached house is beyond reach of half of nation‟s households, so households living in manufactured housing or mobile homes (highly vulnerable to high winds and storms) especially in coastal counties in the Gulf and southeast US
  5. 5. SOCIAL VULNERABILITY Susan Cutter and Colleagues (2006). Moral Hazard, Social Catastrophe Morrow, Betty H. (1999) Identifying and Mapping Community VulnerabilitySusceptibility of social groups to hazard impacts:1. Product of social inequalities2. Demographic characteristics of the population (e.g., age, gender, wealth)3. For instance, women suffer more – more care giving responsibilities; have to meet daily needs of family, children, elderly; more likely to lose job; lack secure income or employment; less resources, aid is often given automatically to male head of household; increase in family violence4. Complex constructs as well – health care provision, access to lifelines (e.g., emergency response personnel, goods, services)5. Built environment – nature and age of the housing stock6. Comerio obseves: In San Francisco, 20,000 seismically unsafe tenement units and another 44,000 in Los Angeles, inhabited by low-income immigrant communities. Making them safe would increase rents and put them out of the units, possibily into homelessness, so units remain vulnerable
  6. 6. SOCIAL VULNERABILITY IN URBAN DISASTER Susan Cutter and Colleagues (2006). Moral Hazard, Social CatastropheSocial vulnerability in urban disaster:1. Our preparedness experience mostly in suburban context, not an urban central city (e.g., New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina)2. Suburban areas have lower population and housing densities3. Primary mode of transport is the private automobile4. Evacuation is relatively straightforward (even with traffic congestion)5. Small percentage of „special needs‟ populations requiring assistance (e.g., infirm or mobility impaired elderly)6. Evacuations from Mississippi and Alabama reflect the suburban experience and went smoothly as opposed to New Orleans7. Inner city residents in urban metropolitan areas may not have the wealth of their suburban counter parts & rely on public transport8. In New Orleans, more than 50,000 people or 27 percent of population did not have a car and had to seek shelter9. Pre-existing social vulnerabilities made Hurricane Katrina into a catastrophe
  7. 7. SOCIAL VULNERABILITY INDEX (SoVI) Susan Cutter and Colleagues (2006). Moral Hazard, Social Catastrophe Morrow, Betty H. (1999) Identifying and Mapping Community Vulnerability1. SOVI - method to create vulnerability maps2. Shows which communities, counties, and states are most vulnerable and the factors driving their vulnerability3. The SoVI can help policy makes and responders tailor response according to vulnerability characteristics of populations4. Not „one size fits all‟ policy and response to risk reduction and disaster response5. Factors – Economic resources (e.g., assets, savints); Housing Location (economic and social arrangement decides location); Housing Quality (housing an indicator of social and economic status).6. Poor usually do not have choice where to locate – usually close to jobs, cannot spend on transport; Rich locate on risky places out of choice7. “Unequal access to opportunities, resources, and unequal exposure to risk”
  8. 8. VULNERABILITY & HAZARD MITIGATION Boyce, J. (2000). Let Them Eat Risk? Wealth, Rights & Disaster VulnerabilityBoyce helps us understand the problem of vulnerability andmitigation in larger theoretical terms – framing it as public bad orgoods1. Vulnerability to natural and technological hazards is to a large extent a public bad, because disasters typically strike communities and not isolated individuals2. By same token, measures to reduce vulnerability are to a large extent public good3. Pure public good – when provided to one is provided to all (non- excludability), consumption does not diminish availability to others (e.g. national defense)4. Vulnerability reduction – impure public good & impure private good5. An impure public good – when provided to one, it is also provided to others but not equally (e.g., flood control, only populations who live or own assets in protected areas benefit)6. An impure private good – not everyone can acquire it and the market may not want to provide it7. Measures to reduce vulnerability often lie in-between the public & private good
  9. 9. POLICY ISSUES Boyce, J. (2000). Let Them Eat Risk? Wealth, Rights & Disaster Vulnerability1. How much disaster vulnerability reduction to provide?2. Whom it should be provided to?3. A political-economy problem, we are discussing allocation of scarce resources among competing individuals, groups, and class4. Two ways to approach these questions
  10. 10. WEALTH BASED APPROACH Boyce, J. (2000). Let Them Eat Risk? Wealth, Rights & Disaster Vulnerability1. Founded on willingness to pay, in turn conditioned by ability to pay. Those willing and able to pay more deserve to get more2. Richer individuals, groups, and classes will get more of the impure public good of vulnerability reduction than the poor3. Probably how it usually works in practice, though not very effective when poor communities are located in risky areas because the rent or housing price is cheaper there
  11. 11. RIGHTS BASED APPROACH Boyce, J. (2000). Let Them Eat Risk? Wealth, Rights & Disaster Vulnerability1. Based on egalitarian distribution of the right to a clean and safe environment2. Puts equal weight on the right of risk reduction to all individuals regardless of their income or wealth3. Rights based approach would define liability on the same basis as right to a safe environment for all, infringement of this right would create legal ground for restitution claims4. Private companies would insure against such claims, this opens an avenue for the insurance sector to play a role in the enforcement of safety standers (e.g., BP oil spill), more unsafe the facility, higher the price of insurance5. In case of industrial disasters, this allows the insurance sector to play a role even when the individuals whose safety are at risk are too poor to buy insurance
  12. 12. PROBLEMS WITH RIGHTS BASED APPROACH Boyce, J. (2000). Let Them Eat Risk? Wealth, Rights & Disaster Vulnerability1. Non-uniform spatial distribution of human population2. Difference between saying each individual has equal rights to risk mitigation and that the weight of each individual‟s risk is equal (e.g., risks in densely populated areas carry greater weight than same risks in less dense areas)3. Reconciling equitable allocation of right to life and the inequitable allocation of economic wealth and political power4. Private risk mitigation can be privately purchased, so distribution is based on ability and willingness to pay.5. So priority will be for those who are less able to pay privately. This is a public policy dilemma as there is no guarantee that wealthier communities will agree OR what happens when wealthy communities refuse to comply with public mitigation initiatives and strategies because they do not want anyone telling them what to do on their private propertiesIn conclusion, both approaches have long co-existed, both haveproblems as none are perfect when applied to vulnerabilityreduction…so tension between the two will remain…

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