Low Income and Women-Led Households Least Prepared For Disaster, New Study Finds

In the last few years, Americans have experienced several disasters ranging from wildfires to pandemics. Although Americans will be ready to face adversity, the majority are unprepared for the worst-case scenario. Among those least prepared for disaster are women-led households and those renting apartments. 

Disaster responders should include social workers and healthcare professionals 

According to Ohio State University researchers, individuals living in poor socioeconomic neighborhoods are unquestionably the most vulnerable population in the event of a big catastrophe like a hurricane, flood, or wildfire. The study’s authors conclude that those who deal with “socially vulnerable” populations who are somewhat ready for catastrophes should include those in the healthcare and emergency response fields and social workers.

Interestingly, individuals with higher confidence levels and high-income property owners are more likely to be ready for the next natural disaster. 

The investigators concentrated on those who might be unlikely to survive three days without electricity or running water, have access to safe transport, or be able to obtain supplies in the event of an emergency evacuation. Regardless of their socioeconomic status, all Americans were advised by the team to keep a go-bag containing non-perishable meals, necessary meds, some contingency cash, and a flashlight in their home at all times.

Households paying rent and with children under 18 are least prepared for disaster. 

Individuals that pay rent, householders with children below 18, and Americans that recently received disaster preparedness training at their workplace were among those that were at more risk. Surprisingly Asian-American and African-American families were less likely to be somehow prepared for future disasters.

The researchers stress that preventive actions are necessary to ensure the at-risk groups are prepared for disasters. They continue by saying that economically disadvantaged groups always suffer the most from natural calamities.

Also, to ensure that everyone is brought on board when a crisis strikes, critical approaches include concentrating on vulnerable populations, comprehending their unique challenges, and linking them to local resources. More focus should be on  low socioeconomic groups which suffer most during natural disasters.

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