Michelle M. Luckett
Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE), Inc.
Disparity in the Rural-Urban Divide in Disaster Readiness and Recovery
In disaster recovery, there is an unspoken disparity in the rural-urban divide. Especially when one considers that one-third of rural counties in the United States are also places of concentrated, persistent poverty with rates of 20 percent or higher, roughly double the proportion of high-poverty urban counties. In addition, low-attention disasters are often localized events that do not garner regional or national attention, affecting mostly rural, isolated communities. According to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, low-attention disasters are most often identified by all or some of the following indicators: (1) disproportionately affected marginalized or chronically under-resourced populations; (2) high percentage of damage to housing; (3) insufficient community infrastructure or ability to develop or sustain recovery operations; and (4) no FEMA Individual Assistance declaration.
Time and again in rural disaster areas, it is the human infrastructure of connectors and troubleshooters that requires a boost for a robust and inclusive recovery.
This session will discuss the factors associated with “the missing middle” needed for a successful entry into these community and discuss BRACE’s development of capacity-building readiness and recovery facilitators to assist low attention and rural disaster-prone areas.