Prosocial behavior emerges so frequently after disasters that community empowerment must be central to disaster mitigation and recovery
opinion: Cyclone Gabriel wreaked havoc across the North Island. This unprecedented climate change has created great uncertainty. People wonder if or when they will be able to return to their homes, how much damage will be covered by insurance, how long recovery will take, and in some cases even the long-term viability of the community. I’m here. -semester.
More certain is the importance of community-led disaster response. As her three residents of the hard-hit Muriwai told his RNZ’s Sharon Brettkelly, detail Recent podcasts: “Community is Great”; Locals “Very Well Supported by Our Community”. It is backed by a community that has been described as “absolutely mind blowing”. These points were emphasized by a fellow Muriwai-based associate professor. Vivian Elizabeth.
Another similar story. Newspapers reported that Hawke’s Bay residents were risking their lives to save stranded neighbors and stock. We provided essentials and coordinated cleaning activities.
These acts of mutual aid and collective sentiment (often accompanied by a utopian desire to make future catastrophes better) have been seen for as long as the sociology of disaster has existed. 1920, Samuel Henry Prince Study community reactions to the explosion of a French ammunition ship Mont Blanc in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
His analysis “inspires community service, presents a model of altruistic behavior, transforms energy into action, defends law and order, and promotes the great social virtues of generosity, empathy, and mutual aid.” The role of catastrophe in producing”.
Prince noted how volunteer firefighters risked themselves to prevent a second explosion. Food was served in cafes and drugs were freely distributed. There was so much goodwill that Halifax was called the city of comrades.
The relationship between disasters and prosocial behavior is so frequent that it goes by many names in the literature. Brotherhoods of pain, communitas, unity in emergencies, special communities, post-disaster solidarity, treatment communities, and more.
The safest communities are the most equal ones, and in “normal” times, more equal societies also have fewer health and social problems.
There are several reasons. First, disasters are social phenomena. Threats and damage are public and widely experienced. Suffering together unites survivors and creates a collective identity. Second, current power structures are not as robust as commonly thought, further encouraging collective action. Fellow citizens are usually the first responders doing the heavy lifting when disaster strikes.
Third, conspicuous agency is viewed as an important sensory-forming activity with emotional and practical benefits. Adapting to the “new normal” improves individual and collective well-being. This is a coping strategy that helps promote resilience. Finally, underpinning all of this is that we are inherently social beings. We cannot exist alone. We are the product of culture and collective labor. We share norms and relationships and are very altruistic. As such, we tend to help others. Disasters highlight this aspect of ourselves most acutely.
Because prosocial behavior emerges so frequently after disasters, community empowerment needs to be central to disaster mitigation and recovery. Here, we can present three strategies for preparing the world for disaster.
First, infrastructure has proven to be a valuable resource in terms of recovery.Scholars such as (author of) Daniel Aldrich Building resilience) claims to be even more important than economic wealth. Social capital can be thought of as resources generated through social networks. Policies that promote social inclusion are welcome here, including those aimed at removing negative stereotypes, racism and language barriers. Local events (such as festivals) and activities (such as time banking) can also help. Communities are strongest when everyone feels they belong.
Second, it is necessary to develop social infrastructure. There is ample evidence that recovery is just as important as the physical lifeline infrastructure. Social infrastructure can be thought of as the foundation on which social capital develops. Ideally, such locations have no access barriers. We need to promote tolerance by ensuring that all are welcome and that diverse people interact on a daily basis. In the local context, this includes parks, public libraries, community gardens, etc.
Third, we know that inequality is the greatest driver of vulnerability, and that disasters usually exacerbate existing inequalities. The safest communities are the most equal ones, and in “normal” times, more equal societies also have fewer health and social problems.
Resource redistribution should be a policy goal. Useful actions here include progressive taxation, living wages, and other welfare measures such as providing quality social housing. Through measures like these, we are all better off regardless of whether disaster strikes or not.
https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/strong-communities-are-essential-when-disaster-strikes A strong community is essential in times of disaster