Comparison of Federal Responses to Three 2017 Hurricanes

Quantifying inequities in US federal response to hurricane disaster in Texas and Florida compared with Puerto Rico. ( 6 pp.)

Our results show that the federal government responded on a larger scale and much more quickly across measures of federal money and staffing to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, compared with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The variation in the responses was not commensurate with storm severity and need after landfall in the case of Puerto Rico compared with Texas and Florida. Assuming that disaster responses should be at least commensurate to the degree of storm severity and need of the population, the insufficient response received by Puerto Rico raises concern for growth in health disparities and increases in adverse health outcomes

2 thoughts on “Comparison of Federal Responses to Three 2017 Hurricanes

  1. I am not making a comment on the bottom line of this report. But it’s important to highlight that where the financial data are concerned this is a misleading picture. This only includes 3 programs–individual assistance, NFIP, and SBA Disaster Loans. The relative costs of damages and the sheer number of people affected by the storms provide reasonable explanation for the difference between Texas and PR.

  2. Excellent paper. Thanks Claire. Short version: For Texas and Florida, “We’re there for you.” For Puerto Rico, “Hey, the government can’t do everything.”

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