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Disaster mitigation: the concept of vulnerability revisited

Disaster mitigation: the concept of vulnerability revisited Literature on natural risks typically examines either biophysical process characteristics or human pre- or post-disaster activities. This paper takes a somewhat different track; first, it argues that also natural disasters are socially constructed and, therefore, second, it resets the framework in which disaster management has to be placed. While most researchers usually focus on risk assessment it is suggested that the concept of vulnerability can provide a vehicle to explore a contextual approach to the reduction of losses due to natural hazards. In a brief overview the conceptualization of vulnerability is presented. Since precise measurement of uncertainties and exact prediction of damages is hardly feasible, a conceptual approach in vulnerability assessment is proposed. Qualities that determine potential damage are identified and characteristics described. It is suggested that, even without assessing risk exactly, vulnerability reduction decreases damages and losses. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Disaster Prevention and Management Emerald Publishing

Disaster mitigation: the concept of vulnerability revisited

Disaster Prevention and Management , Volume 10 (2): 11 – May 1, 2001

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References (39)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0965-3562
DOI
10.1108/09653560110388609
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Literature on natural risks typically examines either biophysical process characteristics or human pre- or post-disaster activities. This paper takes a somewhat different track; first, it argues that also natural disasters are socially constructed and, therefore, second, it resets the framework in which disaster management has to be placed. While most researchers usually focus on risk assessment it is suggested that the concept of vulnerability can provide a vehicle to explore a contextual approach to the reduction of losses due to natural hazards. In a brief overview the conceptualization of vulnerability is presented. Since precise measurement of uncertainties and exact prediction of damages is hardly feasible, a conceptual approach in vulnerability assessment is proposed. Qualities that determine potential damage are identified and characteristics described. It is suggested that, even without assessing risk exactly, vulnerability reduction decreases damages and losses.

Journal

Disaster Prevention and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 1, 2001

Keywords: Hazards; Contingency planning

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