Houston’s Poorest Take Brunt of Natural Disasters, Study Finds
The Houston area’s lowest-income neighborhoods are hardest hit and slowest to recover from disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and the deadly February 2021 freeze, according to a new Rice University study. The survey of 17,000 Harris County, Texas, residents found that in poor areas basic necessities such as food and help with utility bills are more pressing in the immediate aftermath of disaster than building materials and repair crews that garner high demand in more affluent neighborhoods. Harris is the third-largest county in the U.S. and home to Houston. The study, performed by the university’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, said some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods included East Little York, Old Spanish Trail, Kashmere Gardens and Sharpstown.
More translators, transportation services, cash assistance and household weatherization programs could help those areas better handle natural disasters, the researchers wrote…READ ON
FEMA administrator on Covid-19 and natural disaster response
Most people think of hurricanes and tornadoes when they think of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but the agency has also been responding to another emergency: Covid-19. FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell discussed all facets of her organization’s mission on Government Matters…READ ON
Ranking heat waves like hurricanes is being proposed in California
Heat waves are the deadliest weather disaster in the US. They account for nearly 150 fatalities per year, more than hurricanes and tornadoes combined.
New legislation in California hopes to reduce heat-related deaths by ranking heat waves similarly to hurricanes, by using categories and names. However, the National Weather Service (NWS) is currently in a multiyear experiment to also categorize heat waves.
“Globally, people are suffering from heat because of a deadly awareness gap,” said Kurt Shickman, the director of Extreme Heat Initiatives at the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock), which is helping lead the legislative action…READ ON