America’s Sordid Legacy on Race and Disaster Recovery

A mother holds her baby as her husband works to reconstruct their home destroyed by Hurricane Maria in San Isidro, Puerto Rico, on December 23, 2017.

By Connor Maxwell | Center for American Progress

Six months have passed since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Category 4 storm destroyed houses and significant infrastructure, leaving mass devastation. Many Puerto Ricans—who are American citizens—remain withoutelectricity, access to clean drinking water, employment, and even housing. While this storm’s ferocity was nearly unprecedented, the Trump administration’s reaction was predictable. People of color are frequently the victims of environmental disaster while their government neglects and underserves them time and again. Too often, public officials fail to make the necessary investments in preparedness and resilience solutions, then place savings and corporate profits over the health and well-being of residents of color. The global climate is changing, and extreme weather disasters will only increase in regularity. Unless the federal government prioritizes equity in preparedness and recovery policy, environmental hazards will continue to bring ruin, displacement, and death to communities of color.

Full article at Center for American Progress

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