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MSEM 6200 Week 7: Special Needs and At-Risk Populations

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MSEM 6200 Week 7: Special Needs and At-Risk Populations essay assignment

MSEM 6200: Risk Assessment, Preparedness, and Hazard Mitigation | Week 7 essay assignment

In Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America (2006), Ted Steinberg argued that business leaders and government officials do not always have the plight of special populations in mind when making decisions. In fact, Steinberg argues their decisions have paved the way for greater losses of life and property.

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For example, the 1995 Chicago heat wave caused 750 deaths in 5 days. Most of the victims were elderly, poor, and lived in the downtown area of the city; they either had no air conditioning or could not afford to run it. Many were also reluctant to open windows and doors at night because of fears about crime.

This week you explore vulnerabilities of special populations and consider ways to address their specific needs within your preparedness system.

Reference:

Steinberg, T. (2006). Acts of God: The unnatural history of natural disaster in America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze special population vulnerabilities during disasters
  • Analyze strategies to help reduce vulnerabilities of special populations during disasters
  • Apply processes to identify special populations
  • Analyze integration of social and cultural factors into mitigation and preparedness systems

Although disasters are generally random, the impact of an event can vary in severity depending on a variety of social factors. An individual’s socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, language limitations, and even gender can play a role in the ability to respond to and recover from an incident. In emergency management, individuals who face additional challenges throughout the disaster cycle are referred to as “vulnerable populations,” “at risk populations,” or “special populations.” Special populations may include, but are not limited to, the following groups:

  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Seniors
  • Individuals with hearing or visual impairments
  • Pregnant women
  • Children
  • Individuals with special medical requirements
  • Individuals with pets

For this Discussion, view the media Special Populations located in this week’s resources, and conduct research on issues related to special populations during disasters. Also explore strategies to help reduce vulnerabilities of special populations during disasters.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a description of two special populations and explain why they are especially vulnerable during disasters. Then explain two strategies for each special population to help reduce their vulnerabilities.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources and the current literature.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6

Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Respectfully challenge a colleague’s argument.
  • Suggest an article to support or refute a colleague’s posting.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

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