Vulnerability – Concept, types and how to counter it

We explain what vulnerability is and the types of vulnerability that exist. Also, how to counter vulnerabilities.

Vulnerable people are often said to be at risk.

What is vulnerability?

A vulnerability is a quality that someone or something possesses to be able to be hurt. When a person or an object is vulnerable, it means that they can be hurt or receive a physical and emotional injury.

This word can be applied according to your ability to be able to prevent, resist or overcome a specific impact. It is often said that these people are at risk.

Types of vulnerability

Vulnerability - Natural disasters
A vulnerable area will be one that has suffered a natural disaster.

The use of the term “vulnerable” in different settings is presented below:

  • In society. Children, women and the elderly are often viewed as vulnerable individuals. This quality is recognized due to the physical differences they have against men. That is, it is understood that men have a greater resistance to any type of risk and that they will be able to resist more than others in a given situation and, in turn, will be able to help those who need it.
    On the other hand, social and cultural conditions also determine vulnerability. A person who is homeless is more vulnerable to contracting illnesses or suffering accidents than a person who owns a decent home. As well as, a person who has not had a basic education will find fewer job options than others.
  • In computing. Vulnerability is often spoken of when a programming deficiency occurs. This event is also called bug (“Bug” in English), an error or a failure in a certain program of a computer that ends in an unwanted result.
    Debuggers (debuggers) are programs whose purpose is to detect and eliminate programming errors in software or various software systems.
  • In biology. A vulnerable species is considered to be one that has a high probability of becoming an endangered species. For a species to be defined in this way, a significant reduction, fragmentation or decline in its population must be detected naturally.
  • In environmental sciences. A vulnerable area will be one that has suffered a natural disaster, that is, a place that has been exposed to a natural phenomenon of great magnitude capable of destroying it. A city devastated after a major tsunami is a clear example of what it means to declare an area vulnerable.
    In turn, it can refer to an area that is exposed, that is, that has the risk of suffering a natural disaster. In addition, this classification will also depend on the capital, the capacity to recover and the infrastructure that the government of each country has.

How to counteract vulnerabilities?

To counteract a vulnerability the effects of the hazard in question must be reduced as much as possible. This can be done by alerting, preparing both a person and a country, predicting the problem and mitigating it. At the same time, an attempt should be made to strengthen the capacities or resources they possess to be able to face those dangers.

Finally, in the political sphere, should address underlying or underlying causes of vulnerability. Some of these causes can be poverty, poor governance and inequality, among many others.