Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


During disasters older adults are particularly at risk to be negatively affected. This paper will examine the increased vulnerabilities of older adults facing disasters, specifically through the lens of the 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, California which killed 85 people, burned over 150,000 acres, and destroyed close to 19,000 structures in the rural communities it impacted. It has been designated the “deadliest and most destructive” fire in recorded California history. While research demonstrates that older adults tend to be more resilient in disasters, they also have some vulnerabilities that make them more susceptible to death. I discuss common issues faced by older adults including examples from recent disasters that disproportionately negatively impacted those over 60.