Edited by Guðný B. Eydal and Tine Rostgaard
Chapter 27: Neglected families: developing family-supportive policies for ‘natural’ and(hu)man-made disasters
Disaster policies are not noted for being family-friendly, although they presuppose that family members and neighbours will immediately provide assistance in an emergency situation. This chapter by Dominelli uses empirical evidence gathered from disaster-survivors to argue for the development of family-supportive policies that take account of the different risks, vulnerabilities and needs of family members, particularly those affected along the social dimensions of gender, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, culture including language and religion, and economic status. Such policies should consider the specific needs of these groups within the family and ensure the delivery of appropriate needs-led responses throughout the disaster cycle – prevention, preparedness, immediate relief and recover, and reconstruction. Their formulation should draw upon coproduced solutions that have been devised by involving all the stakeholders concerned, including children who can help shape and own the provisions and facilities that will have been developed. This approach, advocated by green social workers, has the advantage of empowering people so that they can think about mitigating hazards and preparing themselves before a disaster strikes and so that they can demonstrate resilience as individuals and communities when it does.
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