Post-Irma: What Does It Mean To Be A “Resilient” Community?

October 17, 2017

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At a post-Irma summit in South Florida, officials said the key to preparing the region for future storms goes beyond dealing with sea level rise—it requires addressing chronic issues like low wages, aging infrastructure, and high housing costs. Irma had serious consequences for vulnerable residents. People with limited incomes struggled to buy food before and after the storm, and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch went hungry when school closed. Elderly people and people with disabilities were left without power or ice. Officials want to strengthen communities so people don’t have to worry about being able to afford supplies or services, or being forced out of their apartments, when a storm hits. To do this, the government is working to formalize connections with the private sector and nongovernmental actors who can render aid and support resilience.