By U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published on Ensia


“Three record-breaking hurricanes recently cut a swath of devastation through the Caribbean and southern United States. The economic and human toll has dominated the headlines, and rightfully so.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the tragedy unfolding before our eyes in Puerto Rico. After hurricane-strength winds lashed at the island’s critical infrastructure, most of the 3.4 million Americans who live there lost access to the power, food and clean water that make daily life possible.

Providing those still in need with emergency food, water and shelter must be our top priority. But over time, as attention shifts from the immediate humanitarian response to fully assessing the social, economic and environmental impacts of the disaster, we need to keep nature in mind. Ignoring the environmental implications of disasters risks leaving communities more vulnerable in the future. If we make environmental planning a pillar of our disaster recovery strategies, however, we can rebuild safer and smarter, leaving communities stronger and more resilient to future shocks…”

Read on at: Ensia.