Strategies for coping with natural disasters. A study of people’s and government adaptation process to the flood in Poland

Sławomir Wilk

Abstract


The article will describe the results of the research conducted in 2013 on the people who suffered in the floods of 2010 in Poland. Within the frame of research 500 flood victims were surveyed and 25 individual in-depth interviews with the victims and support providers (mainly social workers) were carried out. The issues covered in the article refer to the description of the floods, i.e. difficulties associated with the occurrence of the disaster, the description of the received aid, the ways to get help - resourcefulness of the victims, etc. The obtained data show that the greatest financial support was provided by the representatives of local and government administration, whereas informational and emotional support was offered mainly by family and closest friends. People experiencing a natural disaster who had broader social support networks, stronger ties and more contacts received more help. The obtained data indicate that the flood victims are forced to demonstrate resourcefulness in three key points: 1) the evacuation, 2) the reconstruction of a household, and 3) getting control of their own and their families’ mental condition. In addition, author will present the results of social research carried in 2016-2017 on the operation of the administration during the crisis (flood).

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