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Rural Communities Need More Disaster Relief

The Center for American Progress has released two reports revealing how federal disaster relief does not reach the rural communities most vulnerable to climate risk and least able to prepare for disasters.

Some initial solutions include:

  • Invest up to 20 percent of grants in building lasting capacity, such as hiring local and long-term staff.
  • Target more noncompetitive project funding to low-capacity rural communities using metrics that measure physical and social vulnerability and capacity.
  • Increase rural competitiveness for national grants by making small and appropriately designed projects eligible.
  • Align grant eligibility criteria and application requirements among federal agencies and programs.
  • Provide agency assistance to help rural communities navigate the complex process of securing federal grants.

The Daily Yonder‘s Tim Marema interviews Susan L. Cutter, a professor and director of the USC’s Hazards Vulnerability & Resilience Institute studying the science of community resilience and vulnerability, about the unique challenges rural areas face when experiencing a disaster.