Disadvantage and disaster: soclal vulnerability in emergency management

Number of pages: 44 p.

This report describes who is most at risk of being socially vulnerable in an emergency or disaster and what needs to be done to better protect them and improve their recovery. After assessing the causes of social vulnerability and the needs of socially vulnerable people, the report also puts forward a set of recommendations aimed at assisting the emergency management sector to better incorporate the needs of socially vulnerable people in its planning processes.

The report considers socially vulnerable people, such as those living in poverty, migrants, refugees, children, older people, people with disabilities, people who are homeless or transient, and people living in poor quality housing, and their vulnerability at all stages of a disaster – before, during, and after it strikes, using recent international and Australian experiences as examples: the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, USA, the 2009 Victorian bushfires, the 2009 Victorian heatwave and the 2014 Victorian heatwave.