Social vulnerability influences risk perception at the community level


Fothergill and Peek (2004) explored the effects of yet another indicator of social vulnerability the socioeconomic status. Their review of the literature on poverty and disasters in the United States revealed that socioeconomic status is an important predictor of perceived risk of natural hazards, i.e. poor people are more likely to perceive these hazards as risky (Fothergill & Peek, 2004). In addition, they are less likely to prepare for hazards and less likely to respond to warnings. Furthermore, low-income people are more likely to die or suffer injuries, both physical and psychological, and they also have proportionately higher material losses (Fothergill & Peek, 2004). The review paper of Fothergill and Peek (2004) can serve as another illustration of how disaster vulnerability is shaped by the pre-existing characteristics of the community.

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