[Intel Report] Post-hurricane cleanup could kill more workers than storms themselves

Share

Hurricane Harvey SliderLocal work safety groups said federal officials have been conspicuously absent from meetings about worker safety.

Mike Elk, The Guardian: Post-hurricane cleanup could kill more workers than storms themselves

The mainland US death toll for the two hurricanes, which battered Texas and Florida in August and September, now stands at approximately 200 people. But according to Jessica Martinez, executive director of National Council of Occupation Safety and Health (Cosh), a nationwide network of workplace health and safety groups, a greater number of people will die cleaning up in their wake “if more resources aren’t put into health and safety training from post-cleanup”.

And local work safety groups said federal officials have been conspicuously absent from meetings about worker safety. CONTINUE READING

Manny Fernandez, Lizette Alvarez & Ron Nixon, The Hew York Times: Still Waiting for FEMA in Texas and Florida After Hurricanes

Outside the White House this month, President Trump boasted about the federal relief efforts. “In Texas and in Florida, we get an A-plus,” he said. FEMA officials say that they are successfully dealing with enormous challenges posed by an onslaught of closely spaced disasters, unlike anything the agency has seen in years. But on the ground, flooded residents and local officials have a far more critical view.

According to interviews with dozens of storm victims, one of the busiest hurricane seasons in years has overwhelmed federal disaster officials. As a result, the government’s response in the two biggest affected states — Texas and Florida — has been scattershot: effective in dealing with immediate needs, but unreliable and at
times inadequate in handling the aftermath, as thousands of people face unusually
long delays in getting basic disaster assistance. CONTINUE READING

Coco McCabe, Oxfam America: In Puerto Rico, a shortage of tarps and electricity means the misery continues for storm-weary people

“It’s an emergency that a month in should not be an emergency–but it is,” said Thompson, presenting a series of real-life scenarios that Puerto Ricans have been grappling with since driving rain and winds of 155 miles per hour took down the island’s entire electrical grid on Sept. 20. Without electricity, a great deal of daily life grinds to a halt: there’s no light at night, no fans or air conditioners to cool sweltering rooms, no easy way to charge phones or access the internet, no reliable way to keep hospitals running–the list goes on.

What would you do, Thompson asked, if your elderly mother, wheel-chair bound and desperately needing food and water, was stuck on the 17th floor of an apartment building in San Juan with no working elevator? CONTINUE READING

Photo: National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH)

Share