Reporting in Psychcentral, Traci Pedersen notes that, when a natural disaster strikes, women are quicker to take cover or evacuate but often have trouble convincing the men in their lives to do so, according to new research led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The study, which focused on how gender influences natural disaster response, also found that traditional gender roles tend to resurface in the aftermath of disasters, with women relegated to the important but isolating role of homemaker while men focus on finances and lead community efforts.
“We found that there are many barriers that disadvantage women in the event of a disaster, leaving them behind when it comes to decision-making and potentially slowing down their recovery,” said lead author Melissa Villarreal, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology and research assistant at the Natural Hazards Centre.
The findings, published in the journal Disasters, are the latest in a series of studies that have found that women tend to have a higher perception of risk, but because they are framed as “worriers,” they are sometimes not taken seriously.
“Women seemed to have a different risk perception and desire for protective action than the men in their lives, but men often determined when and what type of action families took,” Villareal wrote. “In some cases, this put women and their families in greater danger.”
For the study, the researchers analysed in-depth interviews with 33 women and 10 men across two Texas towns.
The participants were asked about their experiences in the midst of, and the year after, the disaster. While the circumstances surrounding the events were very different, common gender-influenced patterns emerged.
“We often assume that men and women are going to respond the same way to these kinds of external stimuli but we are finding that’s not really the case,” said co-author Dr Michelle Meyer, associate professor and director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Centre at Texas A&M University.
Female participants also reported that recovery organizations tended to call the men of the household to find out where to direct aid, even when women had filled out the forms requesting it.
“Eliminating the male head-of-household model is crucial for speeding overall household recovery,” the authors conclude.
During recovery, women were often charged with “private sphere” tasks like putting the house back together and caring for children while schools were closed, but they often felt excluded from leadership roles in community recovery projects.
“If your perspective is not taken into consideration and you feel isolated, that can impede your mental health recovery,” said Villareal.
Villareal recently embarked on a separate study, set in Houston, looking at the unique challenges Mexican immigrant populations are facing in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which hit the region in 2017.
Ultimately, she would like to see government agencies consider gender differences when crafting disaster warnings, and prioritize providing childcare post-disaster so that women can play a greater role in community efforts.
“If we can put racial and gender forms of bias aside and listen to all the people tell their stories about what is affecting them, that could go a long way in helping communities recover,” said Villarreal.
This week’s follow-up on the vaping illness from the CDC says that they received complete sex and age data on 373 cases. It says two-thirds (67%) of cases have been identified in people aged 18 to 34 years, 16 per cent are younger than 18 years and only 17 per cent are 35 years or older. 72 per cent are males.
Authorities say they have still not identified a specific cause of the lung illnesses, but most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), many patients have reported using THC and nicotine and some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.
In a statement, CDC Director Robert R. Redfield encouraged people to consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products, and said efforts are needed in particular to reduce the use of e-cigarettes in young people.
Please continue to think twice before you use these devices.
Dave Swartz, writing in North Forty News, talks of Radio Station WWV, one of the oldest radio stations in the world, celebrating its 100th anniversary on 1st October 2019. The radio station is best known for the broadcast of the national time standard, the “Atomic Clock”, which is closely synchronized with Universal Coordinated Time, or UTC. WWV also provides frequency standards for radio communications as well as other services.
Amateur Radio operators have used WWV as a standard for radio and frequency calibration since its inception in 1919. To recognize the historical, cultural, and scientific importance of radio communications and the critical role WWV plays, the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club and the WWV Amateur Radio Club are sponsoring a special event amateur radio station, call sign WW0WWV (that’s W -W – zero – W – W – V).
The station will make as many amateur radio contacts as possible over a 5-day, 120-hour operating period, starting at 6pm Friday, September 27, and going through 6pm on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. The special event station will operate from the WWV site.
WWV was licensed and broadcasting a full year before the first commercial radio station in the country, KDKA in Pittsburgh. Early broadcasts were experimental in nature, but also included the first announced broadcast of music to the citizens of Washington, DC. As commercial radio emerged, there was a need for frequency standards across the radio spectrum, and WWV filled that roll. In 1944, WWV added the national time standard and has provided that service for the past 75 years.
We take for granted the incredible world we live in, made of matter and energy. It’s the energy that is continually spreading out throughout the Universe, moving away from its source via electromagnetic waves at the speed of light. It was 1865 when these waves were first theorized, and radio one of the first waves to be studied and understood. WWV ushered in electromagnetic waves for the people and the start of the Mass Communication and Technology as we know them today. There are only two things in the Universe: matter and energy. WWV is all about harnessing energy to communicate to the masses.
This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.