"Territorial belonging" of individuals and its impact on the response to a disaster


Finally, practitioners outlined the importance of belonging in disaster response, which may also cause problems for the citizens who have been evacuated: “The territorial belonging. If you take someone out of their context, they collapse. Think of taking a citizen from Parioli to Tor Bella Monaca. You kill him” (G3; R - see source document for full reference), and for the areas they have been evacuated from: “Amatrice’s mayor urged people not to leave, or the city died” (G3; R). Furthermore, some citizens may not want to be evacuated, and disaster workers may need extra support from law enforcement to move citizens to safe areas: “Often we are assigned the task of managing people, i.e. those who are evacuated but want to remain in the same area. So we try to manage those people in cooperation with local police” (G5; R5). “It comes to my mind that people do not want to live their homes. Wealthy people fear looting, while elderly people… do not want to leave their home, it happened to me both in L’Aquila and Amatrice. In the tent cities, elderly people would not consider the idea of going in a different place. In some cases, it is very difficult to communicate to these people that – for their own good – they should leave the territory” (G4; R7).

Applicable to:

Cultural Factors: Livelihoods

Hazards: Natural hazards, Man-made non-intentional hazards or emergency situations, Man-made intentional hazards

Disaster Phases: Response

Types of Actors Concerned: National civil protection body, Local authorities, Government, Red Cross, NGOs, Military, Law enforcement agencies, Healthcare and emergency services