Report: Latinos face much higher flood risks than other U.S. residents
A new report from Headwaters Economics and the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) finds that Latinos face substantially higher flood risks in the country.
So far this year, one in four Latinos lived in a county that had a federally declared flood disaster, a far higher rate than the 1 in 10 non-Latinos who lived in such counties, many of which are scattered across the West.
The report also found Latino households experience larger wealth losses in the wake of major flooding and often struggle to access federal aid. Historic disinvestment, language barriers and vulnerable legal statuses are some factors.
Vanessa Muñoz, a conservation program manager with HAF, said the findings underscore
“the urgency for comprehensive strategies that encompass community engagement. So, really listening to the community's needs when it comes to policy reform and infrastructure enhancements.”
The report recommends that government agencies invest in bilingual materials and community trust building, as well as investing in infrastructure improvements and safe, affordable housing.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.