“Preparing for disaster is not just about protecting people and property, it’s about safeguarding the lives we’ve built and the legacy we will leave to our children and the generations to come,” FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks told the NNPA’s Let It Be Known live morning news show.
Hooks and others kicked off the campaign at Howard University, speaking with students in an ongoing series highlighting the urgency of preparedness.
He referenced a report from the Environmental Protection Agency which revealed that socially vulnerable populations, including Black and African American communities, may be more exposed to the highest impacts of climate change.
Specifically, with global warming, Black and African American individuals have a 10% higher risk of living in areas with the highest projected inland flooding damages compared to reference populations, the report concluded.
“Black and African American communities often suffer disproportionate impacts from disasters. This is something that we must work to change and that starts with how we prepare,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.
“By continuing to advance accessibility and cultural competency in our preparedness messaging, we can make sure that everyone is ready when disaster strikes.”
According to a news release, the Ready Campaign PSAs, titled “A Lasting Legacy,” will run nationwide in both Spanish and English, and are meant to help mitigate these discrepancies by encouraging Black communities to protect the lives they have built and the legacies they will leave behind through preparation and disaster readiness.