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Disability and natural hazard emergency preparedness in an Australian sample

journal contribution
posted on 08.09.2021, 22:54 by Jim McLennan, Danielle EveryDanielle Every, Amy ReynoldsAmy Reynolds
Each year natural hazards result in large numbers of deaths and injuries among residents of at-risk communities. Some individuals are especially vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards. Residents with activity-limiting disabilities comprise one such vulnerable group. One of several reasons proposed for their vulnerability is lower levels of preparedness to survive a natural hazard emergency. However, findings from North American research present a mixed picture. Some studies have found no differences between residents with and without disability, yet others have found residents with a disability to be less prepared. Australian research addressing the issue is limited. The present study reports findings from a survey of 1253 Australian residents who completed measures of activity-limiting disability level, and both material and psychological preparedness for a natural hazard emergency. Those categorised as having a severe level of disability were found to be significantly less well prepared than those with no disabilities on average. The difference was small for both material preparedness and knowledge about disaster threat and safety, but appreciable for emotional preparedness for an emergency. This suggests a need for provision of greater social support for some residents with disabilities over the course of a natural hazard emergency.

History

Volume

107

Issue

2

Start Page

1489

End Page

1499

Number of Pages

11

eISSN

1573-0840

ISSN

0921-030X

Publisher

Springer

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

12/02/2021

External Author Affiliations

La Trobe University

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Natural Hazards