2 - Vulnerability

Vulnerability can be defined as; a population living in unsafe conditions and the susceptibility of that community to a hazard or to the impacts of a hazard event, and the ability of a community to recover afterwards.

Vulnerability is the result of a range of demographic and socio-economic factors that interact to affect the susceptibility of  people to the impact of  natural hazards. Levels of vulnerability vary from place to place and between different sections of society.
Syllabus detail:
Explain the reasons why people live in hazardous areas.
Discuss vulnerability as a function of demographic and socio-economic factors, and of a community’s preparedness and ability to deal with a hazard event when it occurs.
Explain the reasons for some sectors of a population being more vulnerable than others.

Case study connections:
- Why are people in the Horn of Africa so vulnerable to the effects of drought?
- How and why has the vulnerability to cyclones in Bangladesh changed over time?
- How has Japan reduced vulnerability to earthquakes and why are they still vulnerable?
- In each case study which sections of the population were the most vulnerable and most affected?

Exam style questions:
Using examples you have studied explain why people choose to live in hazardous environments. (6)
Discuss the factors which combine to affect a community's vulnerability to a natural hazard. (10)
Explain why some sections of a community are more vulnerable to hazards than others. (6)