Public Policy And Natural Disasters

2176 Words9 Pages
Public Policy and Natural Disasters In the United States, people who live in poverty are already one of the most vulnerable populations and it is this population that is heavily impacted by public policy relating to natural disasters. Often, public policies relating to disaster preparedness and recovery are not discussed until after a natural disaster takes place which is too late to do any good for the people affected and who are devastated almost beyond comprehension. The role of government in disaster preparedness and recovery became a “hot button” issue especially after Hurricane Katrina when the federal and local governments seemed to protect/help those who already had resources and not those with little to no resources. According to a Gallup Poll by Jones & Carroll (2005), forty-nine percent of respondents said that FEMA was most helpful to them while thirty-one percent of respondents said that nothing was helpful to them during recovery from Hurricane Katrina. This information indicates that there is a gap in services disaster relief policies and programs that needs to be filled. The opinion of New Orleans residents regarding how Hurricane Katrina was handled by the government also depends on the resident’s race, class, and gender. Many of the poor urban residents in New Orleans that were the most devastated by Hurricane Katrina were African American (Pardee, 2014). These residents felt that they were forgotten by their government and left to die because they did
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