Social determinants of vulnerability

1. DefinitionA three-person team participating on the first night of a Homeless Count

Social determinants of vulnerability place individuals, households, and communities at higher risk for poor outcomes and increased risk during emergencies. These factors specifically address the broader scope and perspective of how to view public health and safety in communities. Derived from the Public Health Workbook to Define, Locate, and Reach Special, Vulnerable, and At-risk Populations in an Emergency, these factors include:

  • Economic disadvantage
  • Language and literacy
  • Medical issues and disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, or sensory)
  • Isolation (cultural, geographic, or social)
  • Age

2. Resources

A variety of resources are available to help gather data on the broad scope and categories of people who will likely need additional assistance.

  • American FactFinder by the United States Census Bureau
  • List of national and Massachusetts-specific data sources Data Resources
  • Ready or Not? Evacuation and Sheltering Following Superstorm Sandy
    • Recorded webinar on categories of people at risk, how to approach development of a community profile, and application of community profiles to emergency planning to reflect those individuals most at risk watch


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