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Disaster Resilience: Can the Homeless Afford It?

Danielle Every, Kirrilly Thompson
Australian Journal of Emergency Management

August 1, 2014



Research in the US suggests that people experiencing homelessness are more at risk during natural disasters because they have limited access to the economic, social and community resources needed for preparation, evacuation and full recovery. Although this vulnerability is recognized in Australian disaster management documents, little is currently known about the unique vulnerabilities of people experiencing homelessness, nor about specific, targeted interventions that can increase their resilience to natural disasters. This paper provides a literature review of research into the vulnerability of homeless people. The review identifies important issues to consider when planning responses to disasters and highlights suggestions for how greater disaster resilience support can be offered. The review also outlines some gaps in knowledge about homelessness, vulnerability and resilience that may impede effective disaster management for this group.