Elderly Perceptions of Social Capital and Age-Related Disaster Vulnerability. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Elderly individuals are considered at elevated risk of disaster impacts owing to increased health concerns, reduced mobility, and fixed economic resources. Social capital can counteract these vulnerabilities by increasing the likelihood of hearing disaster warnings, providing social ties to assist with preparation and evacuation, and providing access to financial or nonfinancial resources. I aimed to analyze the relationship between age and perceptions of disaster-related social capital. METHODS: I used mailed surveys and in-person interviews with a sample of residents from 2 Florida counties to study perceptions of social capital available for disaster. RESULTS: The results showed that age has a negative effect on perceptions of social capital resources available during a disaster. The elderly reported fewer social ties overall and much fewer social ties that could provide financial assistance, if necessary, during a disaster. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that social capital may not counteract the social vulnerabilities of elderly persons to disaster impacts. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:48-55).

published proceedings

  • Disaster Med Public Health Prep

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Meyer, M. A.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Meyer, Michelle Annette

publication date

  • February 2017