Psychosocial and communication variables involved in mediating the individual experience of older adults following a severe weather event

Brockie, Lauren (2013) Psychosocial and communication variables involved in mediating the individual experience of older adults following a severe weather event. eJournalist : a peer reviewed media journal, 13(1), pp. 53-68.

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The recent floods in south-east Queensland have focused policy, academic and community attention on the challenges associated with severe weather events (SWE), specifically pre-disaster preparation, disaster-response and post-disaster community resilience. Financially, the cost of SWE was $9 billion in the 2011 Australian Federal Budget (Swan 2011); psychologically and emotionally, the impact on individual mental health and community wellbeing is also significant but more difficult to quantify. However, recent estimates suggest that as many as one in five will subsequently experience major emotional distress (Bonanno et al. 2010).

With climate change predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of a wide range of SWE in Australia (Garnaut 2011; The Climate Institute 2011), there is an urgent and critical need to ensure that the unique psychological and social needs of more vulnerable community members - such as older residents - are better understood and integrated into disaster preparedness and response policy, planning and protocols.

Navigating the complex dynamics of SWE can be particularly challenging for older adults and their disaster experience is frequently magnified by a wide array of cumulative and interactive stressors, which intertwine to make them uniquely vulnerable to significant short and long-term adverse effects. This current article provides a brief introduction to the current literature in this area and highlights a gap in the research relating to communication tools during and after severe weather events.

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ID Code: 69551
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: psychosocial and communication variables , older adults, severe weather event, disaster experience , communication tools
ISSN: 1444-741X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Community Planning (120501)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2014 02:24
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2014 00:15

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