Saturday, April 15, 2023

"Tell me something I don't know." Racial disparities are working against disaster recovery for people of color. Climate change could make it worse

 Only 'comfortable' organizations interviewed.

BEMA International


Racial disparities are working against disaster recovery for people of color. Climate change could make it worse
By Lauren Lee, CNN

Updated 4:55 PM EDT, Fri April 14, 2023

(CNN) People of color in the US face heightened risks of harm from climate-induced disasters. Now, non-profits are pushing to remedy that disparity with more equitable approaches to disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
“Until we really address the root issues of climate injustice, we’re going to continue to see a disproportionate impact as it relates to disasters in Black and historically excluded communities,” said Abre’ Conner, Director of Environmental and Climate Justice for the NAACP.
The unequal toll of climate disasters

 A report by the EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs looked at four vulnerable social groups: people living on low-income, racial minorities, those with no high school diploma, and seniors over age 65. Of those four groups, the study found minorities are most likely to live in areas projected to be impacted by climate change.

Moreover, Black people are 40% more likely than non-African-Americans to live in areas with the highest projected increases in mortality rates due to changes in extreme temperatures.
It’s a dire warning for the future, based on an inequitable past.
Many marginalized people, Black in particular, have faced socioeconomic factors that relegate them to living in environmentally hazardous areas or substandard housing structures. So, when a natural disaster hits, they are ill-equipped to withstand the impact.
That was the situation this past March 24 when a severe tornado leveled much of the Black-majority rural town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, killing 26 people. Racial disparities existed in Rolling Fork for decades. Many residents there were poor, had low access to information or internet service, were priced out of insurance coverage, and lived in mobile homes that weren’t retrofitted to withstand severe weather conditions. With the nearest tornado shelter over 15 miles away, it set the perfect storm to leave people displaced and scrambling for aid and assistance, which was very slow to arrive.


Black Emergency Managers Association International
Washington, D.C.



bEMA International
Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication, Coordination, Community engagement, and  Partnering (C5&P)


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