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Emergency and Disaster Management | Environmental Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies


Jean Lavigne and Corrie Grosse


Climate change is causing an increase in the severity and frequency of extreme weather and climatic disasters. Indigenous, Persons of Color, Women, Queer, Trans, Two Spirit, and Disabled communities will be most impacted by the adverse impacts of these disasters. This disproportionate impact is being examined through vulnerability to adverse impacts. Vulnerability is accrued though pre-existing social, political, and or economic marginalization. Overton comments, “Disaster can thus be seen as social events that reveal the inequalities, vulnerabilities, and coping mechanisms that inform how people negotiate the ‘permanent disaster’ of daily life.” However, current methods of disaster relief and aid don’t center the populations that will be most impacted. Marginalized communities are absent, not voluntarily, from decision making spaces for planning disaster relief and aid. This paper aims to examine the adverse impacts of anthropogenic climate change induced disasters on vulnerable population specifically, Indigenous, Persons of Color, Women, Queer, Trans, Two Spirit, and Disabled communities. A case study of Hurricane Katrina will showcase how methods of humanitarian aid and disaster relief further impact of disasters and compound traumas. Finally, best practices for humanitarian aid that centers vulnerable communities will be explored.