Disaster risk perception in urban contexts and for people with disabilities: case study on the city of Iquique (Chile)
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About 15% of the world’s population suffers from some kind of disability. Inaddition to experiencing high rates of poverty, exclusion and lack of access to education,employment, health care, legal support and other services, individuals with disabilities aredisproportionately affected by disasters, recording a mortality rate two to four times higherthan that of people without disabilities. These facts are not reflected in information surveysused in planning for disaster risk management in urban contexts. This study proposes anapproach to characterize the population with disabilities within a risk perception frame-work using the city of Iquique, in northern Chile, as a case study. This research encom-passes the following stages: first, a review of the social risk perception approach; second, adetermination of exposure to natural hazards; third, the sample selection, survey design andimplementation; fourth, the generation of four indices: (1) the overall or generic riskperception index; (2) the specific index for each of the identified hazards; (3) the antici-pated behavior index; and (4) the local risk management index; and finally, the statisticalanalysis of the indices and the selected independent variables, emphasizing the disability factor. The study allowed us to estimate Iquique’s population with disabilities, the types ofdisabilities present and the characteristics of families with disabled members. Risk per-ception and disabled people represent new issues with high social value and deserve moreattention from research, planning and response agencies.
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