Allison G. S. Knox


Recently, Save the Children International [link url=”” title=”published a report”] about refugee children and humanitarian concerns refugees in the international arena place on resources.

Save the Children International specifically explained that “there are more than 65 million forcibly displaced people globally.” Displaced individuals from a war torn country can have a tremendous impact on the resources of another country; it can place enormous pressure on the receiving country creating havoc for that country in myriad ways. 

While international relations scholars will often look at how refugees will impact the international political arena by placing a strain on a government’s resources, one can also look at how evacuees from a disaster event can place a strain on a government’s resources in a very similar way. 

Regarding the impending Hurricane Matthew, emergency management professionals will work to make sure that areas hit hard will not create an evacuee crisis placing a strain on neighboring states and countries.

Evacuee Influx on Resources

Refugees are simply individuals displaced due to a major event – be it a war or a natural disaster. Often, refugees decide that it is no longer safe where they reside, leave the area, and move onto another country. When a country takes in a tremendous amount of new people, however, their resources become strained because they suddenly have more people that will be using the resources – such as food, water and shelter. It can particularly difficult for a country to effectively manage.

Refugees and Emergency Management

On a smaller level of analysis, evacuees from a natural disaster can move across into other towns, cities and states, straining the resources of a given location. It can become difficult for the local government to effectively manage and provide resources for individuals, thus creating a certain amount of pressure for emergency managers.

In this regard, emergency management professionals are always concerned about having enough resources for individuals if the disaster is bad enough. Transporting resources into an affected area becomes a serious matter of concern.

Hurricane Katrina Evacuees

The Wall Street Journal [link url=”″ title=”recently published an article”] about Hurricane Katrina evacuees taking up permanent residence in Houston, TX communities will rebuild to include new residents, but an influx of people at first can be a concern.

Evacuees: An Important Concept to Consider

For any emergency or disaster crisis, it becomes increasingly important to make sure that areas have the resources they need to effectively manage a disaster. Refugee crises can cause complications for emergency management efforts. Thus, it is imperative for emergency management professionals to have adequate resources from the beginning to effectively manage the crisis.