As calamitous storms become more frequent than 1,000 (or even 100) years apart, we will need to face a new normal for how we deal with them. Policies that allow urban sprawl, but not smart growth harm us all. Policies that deny realities, such as climate change and its impact, harm us all. Policies that strip away access to healthy communities and health, itself, harms us all. Healthy environments shouldn’t be limited to certain zip codes. If people live in the zip code — or adjacent to the zip code — it should be healthy for them.
Recent natural disasters, like #HurricaneHarvey, #HurricaneKatrina, #SuperStormSandy are no longer rare, and they harm us all. These storms have been slamming other nations for years, and we look “over there” with temporary sympathy. Those tragedies are our tragedies. Our compassion cannot be temporary — and the impact will last and overlap. So, our humanity must endure beyond the headlines.