Disaster Politics Can Get In the Way Of Disaster Preparedness

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Hurricane Harvey has been battering the Gulf Coast for days. At least 38 people have been confirmed dead, more than 30,000 people are expected to be placed in temporary shelters and thousands more are still missing or stranded. As many as 500,000 people are expected to apply for disaster-relief aid, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Of course, public safety, not politics, is the top concern right now, but because victims often rely on the government to help them prepare for and recover from a natural disaster, the two are often intertwined. Once people move past the photos of politicians looking compassionate or insensitive in the aftermath of a natural disaster, how do voters assess, blame or reward government