Max Besbris Interviewed on Hurricane Ian & its Impact on Inequality, Racial Disparities

Photo of Max BesbrisAssistant Professor Max Besbris has been in the media lately after Hurricane Ian.  Along with his colleague Anna Rhodes, Besbris conducted interviews with dozens of homeowners in Houston over the two years after Hurricane Harvey.  They found that disaster can increase inequality in a community, causing differences in wealth, mobility and vulnerability.  They examined factors that influenced recovery such as flood insurance and assistance from social networks. They also made recommendations for policy changes, “We believe it’s also important to support and expand managed retreat policies, which provide resources for residents and communities to move away from the most vulnerable places. In addition, the U.S. could design more equitable approaches to disbursing FEMA aid and SBA loans to ensure low-income and nonwhite households have better access. This would help minimize the inequalities that emerge both within and between communities in the wake of disaster.”

Links to recent news articles about Hurricane Ian are available here:

How Hurricane Ian’s damage could exacerbate inequality

As Floridians recover from Ian, most homeowners in the state do so without flood insurance 

How Hurricane Ian and other disasters are becoming a growing source of inequality – even among the middle class

Q&A: Climate change, natural disasters, and growing inequality

An interview of Besbris by WORT 89.9FM Madison is available here:  U.S. Disaster relief fails many

Rhodes and Besbris are co-authors of the recently published book, “Soaking the Middle Class: Suburban Inequality and Recovery From Disaster.