North Carolina is no stranger to natural disaster and the lessons learned from previous events should guide the response now and in the future. Here are just a few of those key principles that should be front and center in our state’s response:
EQUITY: It is already clear that low-income and North Carolinians of color have been disproportionately impacted; that is why the response must strive to ensure that the needs of all communities, particularly those who may be marginalized, are addressed.
COORDINATION: It goes with saying that recovery efforts need to be coordinated. Besides coordination of federal, state, and local government assistance, coordination is critical for efforts coming from the private sector, including faith-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, community-based groups, and businesses, to name a few.
INFORMATION: Those who are in need must know how to access the help available to them. Clear and constant communication with those individuals and communities facing homelessness, unemployment, hunger, and more must be a priority.
ACCOUNTABILITY: The experience of past disasters in North Carolina and the nation demonstrates how important it is that emergency response and rebuilding are held accountable to affected communities. This means ensuring donations are received and services are delivered.
RESPONSIBILITY: While there is a need to be innovative in pursuing the resources that will be needed immediately and in the long-run to rebuild communities, the responsibility to fill in gaps and serve the people of North Carolina should reside with state leaders.
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Photo by Jocelyn Augustino – Oct 11, 2016 – Location: Lumberton, North Carolina