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VULNERABILITY ANALYSIS FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

 Kubilay Kaptan

WHAT IS VULNERABILITY?

Vulnerability is a condition used to distinguish exposure to jeopardies, hazards and shocks. The words for the resolution of vulnerability is defined in the box. “Vulnerability determines the features of an individual or group and their position that influence their power to deal with, stand and retrieve from the consequences of a hazard”.

Vulnerability is a broad term that is used variously to apply to people, communities, livelihoods, food supplies, community assets, or property. The term is also used to describe factors that affect the ability of the community or individuals to respond to natural hazards or extreme events.  Vulnerability contributes to the severity of hazard impacts and inhibits or slows down effective response. A ‘vulnerability reduction’ program therefore requires some capacity to assess ‘who’ and ‘what’ are vulnerable and, especially, to know ‘why’ this is so. (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan- UNAMA Report, 2003) 

Dimensions of Vulnerability

The influence of social, geographical, economic and political endangerments determine how disasters affect people in contrasting manners and with changing intensiveness. Some groups are more vulnerable to damage, loss and suffering affiliated with contrasting endangerments (Anderson and Woodrow, 1989/1998:2). The most consequential variables are fluctuations in the importance of social category, occupancy, caste, ethnicity, gender, impairment and wellness, age and residential position and the nature and extent of social meshings. The comparative contribution of geophysical and natural procedures and social, economical and political influences, the vulnerability of a disaster varies from one community to another and from one place to another. The vulnerability can be increased by rights, the deficiency of political or social development and favoritism.  

People and Vulnerability

Our interest is the most impacted: what are the reasons make them more vulnerable and what can be done to reduce their vulnerability. The effect of vulnerability is also based on gender. So women experience vulnerability more and frequently than men because of socially built functions and power intercourses. Some groups of people are more at endangerment than others: kids, elderly and disabled people more vulnerable because of physical difficulties.

Populations are vulnerable when their capabilities are fewer than others around them. Some populations experience greater risk from hazard events not because of their geographic proximity to the hazard, but because of decreased resources and capabilities arising from their socio-economic status and/or physical abilities.  People living near or below the poverty line, elderly, disabled, women, children, ethnic minorities, and renters have all been shown to experience, to some degree, more severe effects from disasters than the general population.  They are more likely to die in an event and, if they survive, they are less likely to recover financially. Thinking about vulnerable populations when developing warning-system-related education and outreach tools is extremely important because these groups may require special messages. (Flash Flood Early Warning System Reference Guide, 2009)

Vulnerability and Poverty

Poorness is not the same as vulnerability, but are intimately associated. They reinforce each other and acquired by alike procedures. Poorness is a key proportion of vulnerability. Poorness is not the only element that may lead to vulnerability, but other elements such as geographical location, disputes between communities or social and ethnic groups susceptible individuals. Vulnerability to poorness is aiming people into poorness forbids that they are out of poorness. Poorness is deficiency of fundamental resources to take part fully in economical and social life. So think the current position and frequently powerfully connected with the material / social condition. Vulnerability, on the other hand, it is more about impotence, insecurity, vulnerability to endangerments or shocks and the ability to deal with them, as it is up to date.

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Date of Publication of this paper: 04 April 2012      Comments  open till: 04 October 2012

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Last updated on Saturday December 01, 2012