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There's nowhere to go: Counting the costs of extreme weather to the homeless community

journal contribution
posted on 06.04.2020, 00:00 by Danielle Every, J Richardson, Elizabeth Osborn
People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to extreme weather in unique ways. The entrenched inequalities that underpin disaster vulnerability are compounded by extreme isolation and the stress of transient living on mental and physical health. However, the impacts of extreme weather on the homeless in Australia are largely undocumented and rarely incorporated in emergency planning. Interviews with and surveys of emergency and homeless services and service users revealed that the primary ramifications of losing shelter and worsening mental health deepen the cycle of homelessness and trauma. Consequently, homeless shelter losses, such as tents, should be included in pre- and post-event impact statistics and subsequent recovery support. Extreme weather response plans should include early triggers and strategies for ‘non-severe’ weather events, as the homeless community is affected earlier and by a wider range of meteorological conditions. Moreover, this study also explores the benefits of a trauma-informed response to extreme weather when working with the homeless. © 2019 The Authors Disasters © 2019 Overseas Development Institute

Funding

Other

History

Volume

43

Issue

4

Start Page

799

End Page

817

Number of Pages

19

eISSN

1467-7717

ISSN

0361-3666

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, UK

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Australian Red Cross

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Disasters

Exports

CQUniversity

Exports