Natural Disasters The government has come under fire quite a few times following natural disasters. Their main responsibility in response to these disasters is to provide the tools citizens in the affected area need to recover as quickly as possible. The first and most important response is to food and water needs of the displaced. The communication of the distribution location has proven to be difficult to find out immediately after the destruction takes place. Also, extended shelter seems to be a problem for the underprivileged, and knowledge on how to obtain it from the government after the catastrophe.
The most important responsibility of the government seems to be law enforcement, although there may be a lack thereof immediately after. Once the obvious issues have been addressed, it’s time to start thinking about research on how to prevent these disasters from happening in the first place. The first and most obvious components needed to sustain life in any part of the world are food and water. We may take these for granted; but, after a natural disaster, supplies tend to become scarce and the people lacking will need help.
The government will usually set up food and water distribution centers around the city. The problem with this is that too often the people who need it most are often unable to receive these supplies. According to “Assuring Environmental Justice for All” (Bullard) “If a community happens to be poor, black, or of color, it receives less protection than does an affluent white community”. There have been mandates to protect all American citizens while ensuring equality in other areas of the law. These orders have not yet transferred to the government’s mind frame concerning natural disasters.
The next focus should concern shelter for the recently homeless. The government has made strides toward what it will do for massive disaster in recent years. In 2011, the deadliest natural disaster occurred on American soil since Hurricane Katrina throughout the south with multiple tornadoes devastating the southern United States. The damage was evident and many houses were demolished upon impact. In this case the government learned from its mistake so much that one gentlemen even boasted “It ain’t like Katrina, we’re getting help” (Williams, 1) .
The government has an obligation to work with the affected citizens to find them some sort of extended lodging even if it is below their normal standard of living. In comparison to the amount of money spent on buildings that no one lives in (Taco Bell, Flower Shops, Best Buy), far too little is being spent on this immediate accommodation need of thousands. The last and seemingly most overlooked government provision by the public after a natural disaster is law enforcement.
The National Guard and local police work in correlation to provide the best services they can with limited resources. They are sent from house to house in the most damaged areas checking them for carnage and survivors. Power lines and traffic lights are typically down throughout the city after a storm, which makes it the Police Department’s job to direct traffic. Some assigned tasks may seem larger than others, but they all play an integral part in keeping the public safe. The technological ceiling for us as human beings seems to be raised on a daily basis.
The main problem for most people with the government’s reaction to previous disaster concerns is a lack of being completely prepared. We are continuing to improve our readiness as a nation, but can never be prepared fully as citizens. More funding from our nations’ treasury for solutions to prevent natural disasters would be the most substantial way of reducing the government’s role overall in the aftermath. Once the natural disaster occurs and our nation suffers the losses, we must rise up and vow to be stronger the next time.