Strike Debt, an Occupy affiliate, just came out with a very well-researched and thorough report on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, called “Who Pays for Sandy?” Now, not only is Occupy Sandy one of the main organizations providing relief to communities wrecked by the hurricane, but Strike Debt is one of the leading think tanks working on the issue! Below are some of their main, and quite dismal, findings.
- The economic costs of the disaster are placed on individuals. Federal aid programs require victims to first apply for loans before qualifying to apply for FEMA aid.
- “Aid” programs favor those who can take on debt. Preexisting inequalities are further exacerbated by this form of aid.
- Federal programs are inflexible and fail to meet even basic needs of affected individuals and communities.
- Relief options are not clearly communicated or well understood. Policies are so complex that even lawyers are confused and are “learning as they go.”
- Mold is at a crisis level. Residents will not receive FEMA aid to pay for the mold remediation necessary to make their properties even temporarily livable.