On September 28th, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida. After devastating Puerto Rico and Cuba, the Category 4 storm lashed Florida’s Gulf Coast with 150 mile per hour winds and a 7-foot storm surge, flattening entire cities. Florida officials report the storm’s death toll at 83 and climbing. So far, the total damage from the storm is estimated at 63 billion dollars and also climbing. A year ago, we were talking about Hurricane Ida. Five years ago, Hurricane Harvey. Before that, Hurricane Sandy. The U.S. government spends billions each year on disaster recovery efforts, but is that money well spent? Max Besbris is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he thinks we need a new approach.
Photo of Hurricane Ian rainfall: National Weather Service of Tampa Bay, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons