Gender and Vulnerability in Emergency Contexts

“There are steps we can take to reduce risk in vulnerable populations in emergency situations and disasters.” says Andrea Burniske. Listen and watch the  Gender and Vulnerability in Emergency Contexts webinar recording to find out how and what can be done.


This webinar was presented by Andrea Burniske, International Extension Coordinator at Purdue University, and Susan Green, a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) with a focus in planning for vulnerable populations. Both presenters have extensive backgrounds in disaster risk reduction and disaster recovery. Burniske is currently focusing on international opportunities for faculty. 

“We tend to overlook vulnerable populations when we plan for disasters that can affect our communities. But the history of disasters in the United States proves that is a mistake,” says Burniske. “Disaster planning at all levels must include plans to accommodate people who are at increased risk to harm following a disaster.” Green notes several factors that put women, in particular, at increased risk, “Women’s health, economic status, education, and responsibilities for their households and families contribute to their levels of vulnerability following a disaster. There are steps we can take to reduce their risks and the risks of other vulnerable populations.”

Sherry Nelson is an Extension Human Development Specialist and county program director for the University of Missouri Extension Service. She moderated the session. “I’ve witnessed the results of physical and mental stress on producers, their wives and families following prolonged floods, tornadoes, and other disasters.In addition to farm families, the communities had other groups who could have been less vulnerable to violence. Andrea Burniske and Susan Green will help us be more aware of people in our communities who are most vulnerable — and show us how we can make the community a less risky place for them.”

This webinar is brought to you by the Extension Disaster Education Network, an eXtension Community of Practice