Addressing vulnerability through an integrated approach

David McEntire (College of Public Affairs and Community Service, University of North Texas, Corinth, Texas, USA)
Colleen Gilmore Crocker MPH (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Ekong Peters (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Publication date: 26 February 2010



The purpose of this paper is to review current theoretical approaches in disaster studies and put forward a model of vulnerability that incorporates physical science, engineering, and social science research.


A comprehensive model of vulnerability is proposed, which includes both liabilities and capabilities from the physical and social environments. The model is related to risk, susceptibility, resistance, and resilience to vulnerability and disasters.


This review assesses current concepts as guides for disaster management and suggests that a more complete view of vulnerability is more apt to generate inclusive and integrated disaster policies.

Research limitations/implications

Since this model is relatively new, its applicability needs to be examined further in terms of the phases of disasters and the many stakeholders involved in emergency management.

Practical implications

The holistic model of vulnerability in this paper may help emergency managers better understand disasters and devise relevant policies to counter them. The paper underscores the importance of broad and integrated methods for dealing with socially constructed disasters. It is related to environmental, infrastructure, economic, political, cultural, and other variables.


This paper is unique in that it presents four viewpoints of vulnerability and because it applies the proposed model to many different types of disasters.



McEntire, D., Gilmore Crocker MPH, C. and Peters, E. (2010), "Addressing vulnerability through an integrated approach", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 50-64.

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