Exploring Disasters and Risk: An Analysis of Past Research and Potential Mitigation for the Future of Disasters and Vulnerability

Authors: Savannah Baker*, Northwest Missouri State University
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Geographic Thought, American South
Keywords: hurricanes, disasters, mobility, vulnerability, emergency management
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation Link: Open in New Window
Presentation File: Download



In the past year alone, there were 30 named tropical storms, 11 of which made landfall in the US, inflicting a record shattering $1 billion in damages; these devastating disasters are becoming more common, more deadly, and more costly. Despite technological innovations and societal developments of the 21st century, human vulnerability to disasters such as Hurricane Harvey remains constant. Recent disaster events have highlighted the vulnerability of marginalized populations and shifted attention to issues of mobility and equity in disaster research. Geographers have examined the role of mobility, geographic context, and demographic factors in predicting the risks, potential impacts, and damage of disaster events. This poster explores geographic research on mobility, vulnerable populations, and risk to contribute a timely and synthetic review of major trends and contributions, as well as recommendations towards future growth and research on these topics. This analysis will draw on the literatures exploring mobility, social vulnerability, and marginalization, as well as disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. Combined with social media movement data, demographic analysis, and news analysis this analysis simultaneously explores questions such as: Where have geographers focused their analyses of disasters and vulnerability? What trends emerge? What has this body of work excluded? This will guide the future of both emergency management as well as disaster and mobility geographies in understanding vulnerable populations to work towards better overall resilience, preparedness, equity, and sustainability following disaster events.

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