Natural Hazards

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 497–518 | Cite as

News coverage of drought impacts and vulnerability in the US Carolinas, 1998–2007

  • Kirstin DowEmail author
Original Paper


Regional newspaper coverage from 1998 to 2007 is examined to expand our understanding of the complexity of drought impacts and vulnerability in the Carolinas. Coverage at the height of two droughts reports drought effects extending beyond first-order impacts on broadly recognized sectors, such as agriculture, livestock, and water supplies to recreation and tourism and impacts on businesses, manufacturing, and households. Impacts were accompanied by social controversies with near-term and long-term planning and development implications. Key concepts in vulnerability analysis were used to structure the review of vulnerability reporting. The coverage of differential vulnerability, although limited, identified individual, household, local, and cross-scale factors that influenced the severity of impacts. Articles also highlighted additional interacting stresses in some sectors contributing to the severity of impacts experienced. An elaborated understanding of drought impacts and vulnerabilities is a necessary, early step in advancing efforts to developing a risk-based drought management approach.


Drought Vulnerability Impacts Southeastern US 



I would like to thank the reviewers for their helpful suggestions and my colleagues Greg Carbone, Kirsten Lackstrom, and Sara Yorty for the discussions that helped me integrate these issues. The work is supported by a grant from NOAA’s Climate Program Office, Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program Award number NA06OAR4310007.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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