The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season showed how low-income communities face the highest risks

Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2021, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city. This time the levees held. Billions of dollars invested in reinforcing them had paid off – at least for part of the population.

A strong similarity between Ida and Katrina still emerged: Low-income communities and communities of color remain at high risk from hurricanes.

As scholars who study refugees and migration worldwide, we are finding that the communities most at risk are being pushed into permanent displacement and homelessness, or deeper into poverty, with each climate-related disaster. Much of this could be prevented if the U.S. government invested in preparedness and did more to protect vulnerable communities.

‘Hunker down’

Despite years of…

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