Hazards : Natural Hazards and Perception Flashcards Preview

AS/A-Level Geography > Hazards : Natural Hazards and Perception > Flashcards

Flashcards in Hazards : Natural Hazards and Perception Deck (68)
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What two major subsystems presents hazards to the human population?




What are hazards?

Events which are perceived to be a threat to people, the built environment and the natural environment. 

Occur in the physical environments of the atmosphere, lithosphere and the hydrosphere.


What are common characteristics of natural hazards and their effects on people?

  • Clear origins and effects on people are distinctive


  • Short warning time before the event


  • Exposure to risk is involuntary in less well developed areas; in developed areas, occupants are well aware of the risk, but they choose to minimise and even ignore it


  • Most losses of life and damage to property occur shortly after the event; although effects can be felt for a long time after that in communities (disease, communication disruptions).


  • Scale and intensity of the event requires and emergency response.


What are adaptions?

The attempts by people or communities to live with hazard events.

People see that they can prepare for and therefore survive events by prediction, protection, and prevention, depending on the economic and technological circumstances of the area.

By adjusting their living conditions, people are able to reduce their levels of vulnerability.


What is fatalism?

A view of a hazard event that suggests that people cannot influence or shape the outcome, therefore nothing can be done to mitigate against it.

Losses are accepted as inevitable and people remain where they are.



How will people with fatalism beliefs respond to hazards?

They will put in place limited or no preventative measures.

In some parts of the world, the outcome of a hazard event is seen as 'God's will'.


What is perception?

The way in which an individual or a group views the threat of hazards. 


What does perception ultimately determine?

The course of action taken by individuals or the response they expect from governments and other organisations.


What is risk?

The exposure of people to a hazardous event presenting a potential threat to themselves, their possessionsns and the built environment in which they live.


What are the possible reasons people put themselves at risk from natural hazards?

  • Hazards events are unpredictable


  • Lack of alternatives


  • Changing level of risk


  • Cost/benefit


  • Perception


Explain how hazard events being unpredictable might influence people to put themselves at risk of natural hazards:

We cannot predict the frequency, magnitude or scale of a natural hazard and so people may not have the adequate time to evacuate, or the right information about the disaster.

This might influence their response.


Explain how lack of alternatives might influence people to put themselves at risk of natural hazards:

Due to social, political, cultural and economic factors, people cannot simply uproot themselves from one place and move to another, giving up their homes, land and employment.

Therefore, they are more likely to stay in the hazardous area, as they have no other choice.


Explain how changing the level of risk might influence people to put themselves at risk of natural hazards:

Places that were once safe to live in may have become, through time, far more of a risk.

For example, deforestation could result in more flooding from torrential rain associated with tropical storms and there could also be a greater risk from landslides.

Therefore, people may not have had time to move to a new area, as changes might have occured to quickly.


Explain how cost/benefit might influence people to put themselves at risk of natural hazards:

There are many hazardous areas that offer advantages that in people's mid outweigh the risk that they are taking. 

For example, people living on fertile soils near active volcanoes.


Explain how perception might influence people to put themselves at risk of natural hazards:

People might not fully understand the severity of risk posed by the hazard event.

Therefore, they may not evacuate/follow advice of authority.


Complete the model of vulnerability. What does this model show?

All the variables which link risk and vulnerability.



Are some people more vulnerable than others?


People in cities in poorer countries are more vulnerable because as the urban areas have grown, cities have been unable to keep up. 

Therefore, more and more people have been forced to live in hazardous areas, such as steep hillsides that are prone to landslides and in the lowest lying parts prone to tropical storms and tsunamis.


In simple terms, why do people react to the threat of hazards in different ways?

Because of the way in which individuals receive and process information.


What factors is perception influenced by?

  • socio-economic status


  • level of education


  • occupation/employment status


  • religion, cultural/ethnic background


  • family and marital status


  • past experience


  • values, personality and expectations


Where is there often a great difference in the perception of a hazard?

Between peoples of differing levels of economic development.

In wealthier areas there is a sense that the better prepared you are, the more able you will be to withstand the impact of the hazard.

The sense of helplessness in the face of natural hazards tends to increase with the level of poverty and deprivation of the people.


In what ways may people perceive natural hazards?

  • Fatalism (acceptance)


  • Adaptation


  • Fear


Explain fear as a perception of hazards:

People feel so vulnerable to an even that they are no longer able to face living in the area and move away to regions perceived to be unaffected by the hazard.


What is community preparedness/risk sharing?

Involves prearranged measures that aim to reduce the loss of life and property damage through public education and awareness programmes, evacuation procedures, the provision of emergency medical, food and shelter supplies and the taking out of insurance.


What is frequency?

The distribution of a hazard through time.


What is intergrated risk management?

The process of :

  • Considering the social, economic and political factors involved in risk analysis.


  • Determining the acceptability of damage/disruption.


  • Deciding on the actions to be taken to minimise damage/disruption.


What is magnitude?

The assessment of the size of the impact of the hazard event.


What is prediction?

The ability to give warnings so that action can be taken to reduce the impact of hazard events.


Why has predicting hazards become more important in recent years?

Improvements in monitoring, information and communications technology means that predicting hazards and issuing warnings has become easier.

Therefore, predicting hazards has become more important as it allows people + countries to prepare.


What is a disaster?

When a hazard seriously affects humans.


What is vulnerability?

How susceptible a population is to the damage caused by a hazard.