8 Aug 2021
America’s Small Towns Can’t Afford Climate Change Anymore
The Index Today
Repeated shocks from hurricane, fires and floods are pushing some rural communities, already struggling economically, to the brink of financial collapse.
Climate change has impacted small rural communities and pushed them to the brink of bankruptcy. Regions repeatedly experiencing natural disasters such as flooding or wildfires have been unable to bounce back on their feet and rebuild themselves. Such disasters cause unemployment with many people leaving, which ultimately reduces the taxes, affecting funding of basic services.
This vicious cycle continues and threatens low-income households the most, creating further disparity in income. The damage caused by floods and other disasters can have emotional and traumatic impact on the regional community as well.
The government in most states has been slow at responding to natural calamities due to insufficient funds and lack of support. The question which arises the most in such dire situations in whether to spend money to build back the community or pay people to leave?
With natural disaster threats only increasing, the cost of rebuilding the same place over and over seems less effective whereas allowing people to permanently move to a safer region may be more worthwhile.
In the year 2016, the Obama Administration set up a number of agencies to help manage the disaster policy and recovery. These agencies included FEMA, HUD, The Army Corps of Engineers and more. The main aim of these agencies was to relocate communities hit hard by disasters.