How to improve taking into consideration vulnerable groups, case Finland

Jaana Keränen, Merja Airola, Miia Myllylä, Pirjo Jukarainen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference AbstractScientific


The Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction 2015-2030 points out that the exposure of people and assets to disasters has increased faster than attempts to decrease vulnerability. The Framework also calls more attention to people and the local level, since individuals and local communities possess capabilities, networks, methods, tools and means to absorb impacts and recover. Thus, the knowhow and skills that are available at the root-level deserve to be recognised and build into the policies and strategies for disaster risk reduction and enhancing of resilience.

In disasters it is not always obvious who really are in the most vulnerable position. They can be persons with physical disabilities or children who do not understand the severity of the disaster. They can also be people without language skills such as tourists or merely people who just are not willing to leave their property under the threat. Some of the most vulnerable are the ones that need attention from the voluntary organisations, such as socially marginalised, people with substance abuse problems, and simply people with any social networks. What is also typical with such vulnerable groups is lack of trust networks, including trust in institutions, skills, and knowledge; their social capital is weak.

Especially the most vulnerable population groups’ resilience has so far stayed in the unknown and outside research focus. Societal resilience calls for building of social capital, i.e. investments in people and communities in addition to infrastructures. Strengthening the social capital, risk awareness and preparedness of the most vulnerable segments of the societies and communities will increase understanding on what societal resilience comprises. Individual and collective behaviour in disasters and hazardous situations is one part of resilience

To improve the overall resilience of people, communities and thereby the whole society, it is important to focus on the most vulnerable individuals, groups and communities also from authorities' side.

This paper presents findings of segments of vulnerability and vulnerable groups in past crises and disasters in the Finnish context and how to improve the knowhow of police authorities to understand their needs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventThe Society for Risk Analysis – European Conference 2021: The Discipline(s) of Risk Science - Espoo (online event)
Duration: 14 Jun 202116 Jun 2021


ConferenceThe Society for Risk Analysis – European Conference 2021
Internet address


  • disaster
  • resilience
  • vulnerability
  • police


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