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Day Laborers Helping to Restore Hurricane Devastated Communities

Still Learning: What Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Reveal about US Disaster Policy

by Emily Peiffer

Less than two weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Hurricane Irma rocked southern Florida. Thousands were displaced from their homes, and millions were left without power. This wave of record-setting storms has led to inevitable questions: Could we have prepared better? How long will it take to recover? How can we mitigate the effects of a similar disaster in the future?

Carlos Martín, a senior fellow in the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, said these past few weeks highlight the country’s need to improve disaster mitigation and resilience planning, in addition to effectively managing short-term expectations at a time of crisis.

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