Hurricanes Hit the Poor the Hardest

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Hurricanes Hit the Poor the Hardest

Debris outside of a Newport, NC, home after Hurricane Florence. Photo credit: FEMA, Liz Roll

Within a period of two months, Hurricanes Florence and Michael swept through North Carolina and Florida, causing the loss of many lives and billions of dollars in damages. Unfortunately, the impacts of the hurricanes will hit low-income residents — who disproportionately make up the population of coastal flood-prone regions — the hardest.

Amplified by other factors impacting low-income residents like fragile housing, inability to purchase flood insurance, economic constraints that prevent pre-disaster evacuation, and limited access to sufficient resources after a disaster, low-income residents often struggle to bounce back after natural disasters.

In the New York Times Op-ed, Decimated by Hurricanes: Rural America Needs Our Help, North Carolina State University Professors Andrew Fox and David Hill examine the impact of Hurricanes Michael and Florence on low-income residents in coastal plains and argue for a shift from reactive to proactive disaster recovery policies that integrate hazard mitigation and enable risk-reduction efforts.

Read the full op-ed on NYtimes.com to learn more.