Black Residents in South Florida Allege Lack of Hurricane Ian Relief in Their Neighborhoods

It is a common occurrence that during natural disasters, marginalized communities, particularly Black residents, are left to struggle on their own.

After Hurricane Ian hit, Latronia Latson from the Dunbar neighborhood in Fort Myers, Florida, especially highlighted the lack of support for herself and others in her community, particularly those who are disabled.

According to Latson, the assistance needs to be easily accessible for those without transportation, stating, “We just don’t get the same service (as people in other parts of town).”

Residents and community leaders are rightfully expressing their frustration over the delayed restoration of power in poor Black neighborhoods. They are also angry about the relief centers being set up at considerable distances from their homes, making it difficult for them to access the help they need.

Moreover, Lee County issued evacuation orders less than 24 hours before Ian made landfall, while other counties had a day’s notice. This delay cost valuable time that could have potentially saved lives or given people time to prepare. Governor Ron DeSantis defended the actions of state officials, calling them “appropriate.”

Speaking on this issue, Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the disparities faced by low-income and communities of color during extreme weather events. She emphasized the importance of providing resources based on equity to address these challenges.

In a pointed reference, a message appeared stating, “George Bush ain’t the only person who doesn’t care about Black people,” highlighting the ongoing neglect and lack of support faced by Black communities during crises.

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