The discussion and debate about concepts such as ‘vulnerability’ and ‘resilience’ in the face of natural disasters and emergencies involved more than 30 delegates representing the British Red Cross, disability organisations, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS, Scottish power companies, academics and may others. Issues tackled were questions about whether ‘vulnerability’ is a feature linked to individuals or rather to environments, events and processes. Can ‘resilience’ be an outcome or is it rather a process? Is it possible to engineer or ‘design’ resilience or is it something that only becomes visible when adverse events occur?
Are individuals’ capacities un- or insufficiently recognised in emergency planning provisions? What are the risks of increasing vulnerability due to inappropriate emergency responses?
What is the role of human rights legislation such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in emergency planning and provision?
Professor Mark Priestley, Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds presented on ‘Disability and Vulnerability: Impact, reconstruction and planning.
The concept of ‘resilience’ was explored by Dr John Twigg, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at the University College London in his presentation, entitled ‘From vulnerability to resilience’.
These any many more issues have been and will continue to be discussed and addressed. Stay tuned for updates on the CECHR event web page http://www.dundee.ac.uk/centres/cechr/ and here.