Giving Compass’ Take:
· After the devastation in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian, RAND Corporation emphasizes the importance of creating responsive and adaptive methods for disaster recovery planning to build stronger and more resilient communities.
· How can donors support efforts that build more resilient communities?
As the extent of destruction from Hurricane Dorian on the northern Bahamas becomes clear, the country’s government has to make rapid-fire decisions. Where will they send the next rescue crew? How will they distribute food and water? How will they get the power back on? Lives are at stake.
In the weeks that follow, the Bahamas will face other crucial choices that will shape its recovery. Time still will be of the essence, but these decisions will have long-term ramifications. And in a way, lives will still be at stake. From other disasters, we’ve learned that well-intentioned early reactions can harm vulnerable groups such as the poor or elderly in the short term—and perpetuate or worsen preexisting inequities in the long run.
In the months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, for instance, hundreds of schools were closed swiftly to prevent students and teachers from being exposed to structural damage, mold, and vermin. Decisions were then made about which schools to reopen. For logistical reasons, and as part of a movement to encourage more urbanization, schools in smaller, more remote communities were more likely to be left closed. Over time, however, such decisions are likely to adversely affect not only students, but their families and the quality of life in these communities.
Read the full article about hurricane and disaster recovery by Melissa L. Finucane and Joie D. Acosta at the RAND Corporation.
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