Natural Disasters Are Getting Worse. People with the Least Power Are Most at Risk.

“I don’t really think we’ve learned our lesson,” said Debra Wray Furrh, advocacy director for Lone Star Legal Aid in Texas. “We keep seeing the same results over and over and over.”

Investigative (NATIONAL)

Rachel Leven
Center for Public Integrity
April 25, 2019

Tags: Natural Disasters

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lone Star Legal Aid, Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC)


Natural disasters hit large swaths of America every year. Only four U.S. counties escaped significant damage from these hazards between 1999 and 2013, according to a recent study. In 2017 alone, hurricanes, wildfires and other extreme weather affected nearly 8 percent of the U.S. population — 25 million people. And they don’t all have an equal ability to respond.

People who are poor, racial or ethnic minorities, young or old, or who live in certain types of housing, like mobile homes, are generally less resilient when disasters strike, according to a report by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. But that can vary a lot.