Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Learning from Heat Waves: How a Social Autopsy can Help to Prevent Future Disasters Eric Klinenberg New York University

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Learning from Heat Waves: How a Social Autopsy can Help to Prevent Future Disasters Eric Klinenberg New York University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning from Heat Waves: How a Social Autopsy can Help to Prevent Future Disasters Eric Klinenberg New York University

2 Age of Spectacular Disasters  World Trade Center  Space shuttles (Columbia, Challenger)  Hurricanes (Hugo)  These catastrophes capture our attention. But they are not the most deadly.  Much of US disaster policy is based on insuring property or preventing property damage. How can we use disaster policy to prevent deaths?

3 Heat Waves  In the United States, heat waves kill more people than all of the so-called “natural disasters” combined. In Chicago, more than 700 people died during one week of  This summer, Europe suffered around 20,000 deaths during a long heat wave.  What can we learn from these events?

4 Disasters help to reveal conditions that are always present but difficult to perceive  By studying disasters sociologically, we can better understand the source of our vulnerability.  “The Social Autopsy” – Opens up the city and examines the social and political organs that break down in a crisis. We explain causes of death in order to protect life.

5 Emerging Conditions Revealed in Recent Heat Waves  Rise of population that is living and dying alone –Social deprivation as an everyday condition –Certain neighborhood conditions foster isolation and insecurity  What can governments do to assist vulnerable people who are living alone? –Compile official lists to identify the isolated –Offer special outreach and assistance in crises –Connect with service providers

6 Emerging Conditions Revealed in Recent Heat Waves  Problems with urban infrastructure and energy –Power outages are common during heat waves –More efficient air conditioners? More reliable energy sources?  Everyday energy crisis: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds are insufficient to meet demand in cities

7 Emerging Conditions Revealed in Recent Heat Waves  Problems with policy responses: –Role of paramedics inside fire department. Do they have authority to call in back-up? –Links between emergency rooms and health department. Who is monitoring? –How should community police officers help? –Coordinating functions of mayor’s offices – danger that public relations response can get in the way of disaster response

8 Preventing Heat Deaths  Work with meteorologists to detect dangerous weather and with media to issue public warnings  Reach out to isolated people and vulnerable areas  Coordinate muliti-agency disaster response  Monitor hospitals and cooperate with medical examiner  After crisis, openly examine what went wrong. Share what we learn as widely as possible.

9 Eric Klinenberg  Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago  Department of Sociology  New York University 


Download ppt "Learning from Heat Waves: How a Social Autopsy can Help to Prevent Future Disasters Eric Klinenberg New York University"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google