The past year has been among the most turbulent in recent memory. Might recent crises provide a catalyst for a renewed sense of civic engagement that transcends some of the race and class divisions COVID-19 has exacerbated?
Long before it was popularized and made its way into political slogans and economic recovery battle cries, the phrase “building back better” was a central tenet of disaster recovery and community resilience. How should community voices be incorporated into “building back better” processes?
As the global community works together to assist Central America in recovering from the disastrous 2020 hurricane season, experiences from other recent disaster recovery efforts offer some helpful lessons, both for the governments of the region as well as outsiders providing resources and support.
Concern about potential COVID-19 vaccine side effects and their consequences may be contributing to Americans' reluctance to get vaccinated. Policymakers and the public should carefully consider what types and levels of compensation for any adverse effects of vaccination are truly fair and appropriate.
Unaccompanied homeless women are more likely than other subgroups to be chronically homeless, to have mental illness, and to have work limitations. Los Angeles County is now recognizing these women as a subgroup in the official homeless count. An assessment will also be conducted to identify this group's unique needs.
Disaster news tropes may capture audience attention, but they ultimately frustrate progress in mitigating the short- and long-term effects of disasters on communities. It's more important than ever that news stories about disasters frame the effects of environmental phenomena in meaningful ways.
Across the United States, significant gaps exist in disaster response needs and capabilities. Community volunteers have stepped up to fill those gaps where possible. They may need more support and resources.
Year after year, fires across western U.S. states scorch forests, rangeland, and neighborhoods, wreaking havoc on rural economies and pushing smoke into cities. Policymakers should consider a coordinated and comprehensive effort that brings together the best minds in government, communities, and academia.
Do Americans believe that limiting the spread of COVID-19 justifies the social and economic costs of physical-distancing measures? Researchers conducted a survey to better understand how Americans weigh health against other priorities.
In the United States, federal, state, and local governments share responsibility for paying for losses from disasters. As the frequency and severity of disasters has increased, so have the losses. It’s worth considering whether the current risk-sharing approach is appropriate.
The electric grid is central to U.S. national security. Recent disasters provide an example of the downsides of leanness. It's more costly to be less lean, but given our dependence on the electric grid and the increasing prevalence of disasters, safety and resilience may be greater priorities.
Rising mental health problems in the United States have long made health advocates and providers worried about the need for additional support for struggling college students. The pandemic has only exacerbated this concern.
Today, every American community is sitting at a crossroads, as local governments continue to address the health crisis of COVID-19 while grappling with the financial realities of maintaining operations. While some communities may take a more traditional route of only investing further in health care services, there is an opportunity to take a more holistic approach and address the multitude of factors that have contributed to the devastation of COVID-19.
The vast majority of people experiencing homelessness have cell phones, which often serve as their lifelines. Providing technological supports, such as Wi-Fi access and opportunities to charge devices, could result in better access to social services and, ultimately, better quality of life and outcomes.
Workers' compensation typically does not cover common infectious diseases like COVID-19. But in the fight against the pandemic, state policymakers might take a fresh look at aspects of labor and business regulation that usually fade into the background and ask if modest changes hold any potential to reduce disease transmission.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made Americans less free, confining us to our homes, and separating us from the people we love and things we value doing. This COVID-19 experience may help people to learn the importance of planning to preserving and expanding freedom in an interconnected and complex world.