By Emma Rosenthal
One might assume that natural disasters are “beyond politics”. Certainly the massive, popular rush to donate to victims of disasters indicates as such. But where that money goes, how it is used and who receives services in general is highly political. Politics and power informs much of the resource distribution and policy in a variety of disasters including evacuation plans in fire zones inhabited by some of California’s wealthiest residents, and the decisions of which communities to save from the blaze; building integrity in earthquake zones, and evacuation and shelter planning during these disasters. In many cases, media and social service agencies put the care of pets over the care of entire human populations, many of whom not only are left on their own, but are left confined to inescapable conditions.
As people use their own personal resources (to the extent that they have them), to batten down the hatches, and people with renters or homeowners insurance find shelter at fine hotels, more marginalized populations face dire circumstances, as they fall through (and get stuffed in) the cracks of the failing infrastructure.
The following links provide information for and about some of the more vulnerable and targeted populations, the discarded sisters and brothers of our collective human family.
According to the New York City Department of Corrections’ own website, more than three-quarters of Rikers Island’s 400 acres are built on landfill–which is generally thought to be more vulnerable to natural disasters. Its ten jails have a capacity of close to 17,000 inmates, and normally house at least 12,000, including juveniles and large numbers of prisoners with mental illness–not to mention pre-trial detainees who have yet to be convicted of any crime. There are also hundreds of corrections officers at work on the island.”
some of the problems facing people with dis-abilities (pwds) during california wild fires.http://www.nobodyleftbehind2.org/speakout/speakout1.shtml