The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
UUSC Responds to Category 4 Hurricane Ida, Commits to Supporting Most Impacted
By UUSC Staff on August 31, 2021
In response to Category 4 Hurricane Ida and the loss of life and damage in Louisiana and its surroundings, UUSC released the following statement:
“We’ve been monitoring this storm with trepidation and have been in touch with our community partners on the ground. We are readying our resources to be responsive when we are called into action by our partners.
Sixteen years ago, Louisiana was assailed by Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 storm that took more than 1,800 lives, caused billions of dollars worth of damage and loss, and led to an immense amount of human grief and suffering. Over the last 16 years, the same systems and institutions that failed so many—particularly Black people, people of color, Indigenous people, elders, people with disabilities, and those who are impacted by income, housing, and economic inequality—still continue to fail these communities in the face of modern-day disasters.
If past behaviors and dynamics are the predictors of the future, we know that these communities will not only be the hardest hit, but will also face the biggest challenges when it comes to rebuilding. Regardless of whether the disaster is human made or natural, we know empirically and anecdotally that these communities will undoubtedly encounter racism and oppression when it comes to requesting and receiving resources from state, local, and national government agencies.
The pre-positioning of disaster relief is a critical part of a disaster justice approach. By listening to partners and mobilizing our resources before a disaster strikes, we are directly supporting and empowering those most affected and least able to respond and minimizing the risk of disasters on human life.
We will be there to support these communities, lift up their voices, follow their leadership, and join their calls for justice and accountability. We will commit resources to address the short-term impacts of the storm, but we will also—more importantly—advocate in solidarity with these communities so that in the medium and long terms, justice and equity are realized. We will support communities facing injustice to repair and restore the resources they need and change systems and institutions so that every single community is respected and resourced appropriately without fear of inequality, prejudice, or oppression.”
If you want to support UUSC’s work, consider the following options:
- DONATE: If you would like to financially support UUSC’s response and recovery work, please consider donating to our Emergency Relief Fund.
- EDUCATE: Please read UUSC’s blog on disaster justice and how we all can collectively redefine—and reapproach—disasters through a lens of equity and justice. Also, learn about UUSC’s five-point approach to addressing climate migration.
- ADVOCATE: Did you know that the displacement caused by storms like Hurricane Ida are considered climate migration? The U.S. Congress can have an impact on how federal resources are used to support communities impacted by climate change events like hurricanes. Take our e-action to send a letter to your federal representatives.
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!
Image Credit: iStock—Leslie Scarbrough