When Disaster Strikes, What Makes You Vulnerable?

When natural disasters hit, several social factors make a person more vulnerable than others. Researchers from the University of South Carolina identified social factors that make those living in the southeast United States more vulnerable to natural disasters -- including events associated with the effects of climate change such a floods, sea-level rise, and hurricanes.

Poverty
Being poor increases your risk by 23%.
People living in poverty are more vulnerable because they often can’t afford supplies to prepare before a disaster hits, and don’t have funds to spend on recovery afterward. Poor communities are less able to absorb the losses of a natural disaster. Poor people are more likely to live in substandard housing and are less likely to have access to needed communications and transportation in times of calamity.

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Sojourners Magazine April 2010
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