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Idea of the Day: How to Help Low-Income Communities in the Face of Extreme Weather

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On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit the northeastern United States and became the deadliest and largest Atlantic hurricane of the year and the second costliest in U.S. history after Hurricane Katrina. Heeding the lessons that emerged from the blundered response to Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, the federal government was quick to react to Sandy with Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, officials arriving throughout the region and President Barack Obama surveying the damage from the ground.

Despite the quick response, however, many low-income residents of the region continued to face dire circumstances. Many low-income elderly and disabled residents of New York City’s public housing complexes were stranded in their apartments for weeks after the storm due to elevator outages. Other residents remained in the high rises, despite having no heat or power, because they had nowhere else to go or no means of getting out of their neighborhood. In other parts of the region, low-income people were unable to make it to food stamp centers for assistance. The estimated cost of the destruction wrought by Sandy was $65 billion, with low-income households greatly impacted.

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Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
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Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
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TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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