Category Archives: Natural Disasters

New Article: Response and Recovery after Maria: Lessons for Disaster Law and Policy

New Article: Daniel A. Farber, Response and Recovery after Maria: Lessons for Disaster Law and Policy, UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper, May 15, 2018. Abstract below:

Hurricane Maria had a devastating impact on Puerto Rico. The federal response to Maria was slow, leaving much of the population without basic necessities for extended periods. Lives were lost as a result. The federal government failed to rise to the challenges posed by logistic difficulties and strained agency resources due to preceding disasters. The response was hindered by unrealistic planning, by Puerto Rico’s lack of political power in Washington, and by presidential indifference. In the end, despite its much greater needs, Puerto Rico received assistance much more slowly than Houston. This article analyzes the reasons for the flawed response and proposes improvements in future disaster policy. Like Katrina, Maria is a story of how systems failed just when they were most needed by our most vulnerable citizens.

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Op-Ed: “Lessons From Hurricane Harvey: Houston’s Struggle Is America’s Tale”

Michael Kimmelman, Lessons From Hurricane Harvey: Houston’s Struggle Is America’s Tale, New York Times, November 11, 2017. [“The Texas city’s response to a powerful storm says much about polarized visions of the country and diverging attitudes towards cities, race, liberty, and science.”]

Op-Ed: “Trump officials allow Puerto Ricans to use food stamps for hot food”

Nathaniel Weixel, Trump officials allow Puerto Ricans to use food stamps for hot food, The Hill, October 3, 2017. [“The Trump administration has granted a waiver so that Puerto Ricans can use food stamp benefits to purchase prepared food in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.”]

Op-Ed: “Of course we’ll help Texas. Sometimes government actually is the answer.”

Op-Ed: Garrison Keillor, Of course we’ll help Texas. Sometimes government actually is the answer, Denver Post / Washington Post, Sept. 5, 2017. [Could be a good class assignment about government / risk / obligations.]