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The Great Irish Famine Refugees

The Great Irish Famine Refugees

The Great Irish Famine was a devastating event that changed the course of Irish history and had far-reaching consequences around the world. From 1845 to 1852, Ireland was hit by a potato blight that destroyed most of the country’s potato crop, the main staple food for the poorest members of society. The Irish population, which had already been suffering from poverty and disease, had to endure even greater hardships, leading to a mass exodus of people seeking refuge and a new life elsewhere.

In this article, we will explore the story of the Great Irish Famine refugees and their experiences as they left Ireland in search of a better life. We will also examine the different ways in which the diaspora of Irish people impacted the countries they settled in and how the legacy of the famine still affects Ireland today.

The Famine and its Causes

To understand the Great Irish Famine and its impact on the Irish people, we must first look at the causes of the blight and the social and political context in which it occurred.

The potato, which had become a staple food for the rural poor in Ireland, was susceptible to disease, particularly a fungus called Phytophthora infestans. While other crops were affected by the blight, the potato was the most damaged, leading to widespread food shortages and famine.

The famine was made worse by the social and economic conditions of Ireland at the time. Ireland was a colony of Great Britain, and its economy was heavily dependent on agriculture, with many small farmers and workers living in poverty. The land was mainly owned by absentee English landlords, who demanded high rents, leaving little for the farmers to live on.

The British government’s response to the famine was inadequate, with policies that worsened the situation instead of helping. The government initially believed that the market would regulate the food supply, leading to an increase in prices, which made it impossible for the poor to buy food. Later the government provided some relief in the form of workhouses, but these institutions were overcrowded, underfunded, and often cruel. Workhouse inmates had to perform hard labor and subsist on a meager diet of bread and gruel, leading to many deaths from disease and malnutrition.

As a result of these factors, the Great Irish Famine was one of the most destructive events in Irish history, leading to the deaths of millions of people.

The Mass Exodus of Irish Refugees

With no relief in sight and worsening conditions, many Irish people had little choice but to leave the country in search of a better life. The mass exodus of Irish refugees began in the mid-19th century, with most of them traveling to North America, but also to other parts of the world, like Australia.

The journey was often arduous and dangerous, with many refugees traveling in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, which increased the risk of disease. Many people did not survive the journey, and those who did arrived in a new country where they faced discrimination and poverty.

However, despite the challenges, the Irish refugees were often determined to succeed. They worked hard and created communities in their new countries, eventually rising to positions of influence and power. For example, the Irish in the United States played a significant role in politics, business, and culture, with many prominent figures of Irish descent, such as John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Bono.

The Legacy of the Famine

The Great Irish Famine had a lasting impact on Ireland and its people, both at home and abroad. Today, the legacy of the famine can still be felt in various ways.

In Ireland, the famine led to a decline in population, a loss of culture, and a shift in political power. The population of Ireland, which had previously been growing, declined by one-third due to the famine and emigration. The subsequent loss of labor and cultural knowledge had long-lasting effects on the country’s social and economic development.

Moreover, the Great Irish Famine led to a shift in political power in Ireland. The failure of the British government to act adequately during the famine led to a greater push for Irish independence, a movement that eventually led to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.

The diaspora of Irish people also had significant impacts on the countries they settled in. The Irish have had a significant influence on American culture, with Irish Americans contributing to literature, music, and politics. In Australia, the Irish helped to build railways, mines, and farms, and today, they are one of the country’s largest ethnic groups.

The Irish diaspora has also played a crucial role in maintaining links between Ireland and their adopted countries. The Irish government has recognized this contribution, and in recent years, has made efforts to reach out to Irish communities around the world through initiatives like the Global Irish Network.

Conclusion

The Great Irish Famine had far-reaching consequences that changed the course of Irish history and the lives of millions of people. The mass exodus of Irish refugees was a response to desperate conditions, and their journey was often perilous. However, despite the challenges, the Irish diaspora has had a significant impact on the countries they settled in, and their legacy can still be seen today.

Ireland and the world owe a great debt to the Great Irish Famine refugees, who endured unimaginable hardship and helped to build the countries they settled in. The legacy of the Famine serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength of the Irish people and their ability to overcome adversity. The story of the Great Irish Famine refugees is one of hope and determination, and it continues to inspire generations today.


Displaced persons may be causally related to various natural disastersThis led to the widespread immigration of Irish nationals to American shores the many other countries.

These displaced persons, driven out of their country by a fundamental absence of recourse due to the disappearance of their livelihood, the potato, also numbered in the millions and began to increase dramatically over the years. Of course, immigration policy at the time of the Great Famine was not subject to the same standards that govern American law today, and mass migration of foreigners was a popular practice; they came to the United States by the boatload.

In due time, though, some nativist Americans reacted strongly to the influx of these displaced persons from Ireland, and campaigned to organize and legislate against them, forming the Know Nothing Party and Immigration Restriction League, which affected today’s immigration standards by influencing lawmakers to establish immigration quotas and institute a literacy test.

The Vargas Tragedy Refugees

The Vargas Tragedy Refugees

Introduction

In 2010, Venezuela was hit by one of the worst natural disasters in its history. Torrential rains caused widespread flooding and landslides, resulting in over 120,000 people becoming homeless and dozens losing their lives. The tragedy, known as the Vargas tragedy, had a far-reaching impact on the country, and to date, the survivors and refugees continue to grapple with its aftermath. This article will delve into the Vargas tragedy and its impact on refugees in Venezuela.

Overview of the Vargas Tragedy

The Vargas Tragedy, also known as the Vargas State Floods, occurred in December 1999. Vargas is a coastal state in Venezuela, and the disaster was a result of heavy rainfalls that triggered flash floods and landslides. The situation was worsened by the fact that some of the areas affected were already densely populated, and the flimsy houses of the working-class people living there were easily swept away by the raging floods. The country was ill-prepared for the tragedy, and rescue and relief efforts were slow to come by. The situation was compounded by the fact that a significant section of the population was living in areas designated as high-risk zones, due to their vulnerability to flooding and landslides.

The death toll from the Vargas Tragedy remains unclear. The official death toll ranges from 10,000 to 30,000, with an estimated 10,000 people never being accounted for. However, non-governmental organizations have put the number of deaths closer to 50,000. In addition to the death toll, over 120,000 people were rendered homeless. The Vargas tragedy significantly impacted the economy of the country, with the cost of rebuilding estimated at USD 10 billion, about 12% of Venezuela’s gross domestic product.

The Refugee Crisis Resulting from the Vargas Tragedy

The effects of the Vargas Tragedy were felt long after the waters receded and the mud had dried. The disaster had a profound impact on the people of Venezuela, with many being forced to leave their homes and communities. The refugee crisis resulting from the Vargas Tragedy was one of the largest the country had seen, with people fleeing the affected areas and seeking shelter elsewhere. The displacement was made worse by the fact that some of the areas affected were already densely populated, so there was limited space for the refugees.

The government of Venezuela set up temporary camps for the refugees, but conditions were dire, characterized by overcrowding and inadequate sanitation facilities. The refugees were in dire need of basic necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare. The situation was exacerbated by outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. The government’s response to the crisis was criticized, and international aid organizations were slow to come to the country’s aid.

The situation worsened when the government began to close down the camps, forcing the refugees to seek shelter elsewhere. Many of the refugees were unable to return to their homes, which had been destroyed in the floods. The refugees were forced to seek shelter with friends and relatives or makeshift shelters. As the days turned into weeks and months, the refugees found themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair, struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families.

The Political Dimension of the Refugee Crisis

The refugee crisis that ensued in the aftermath of the Vargas Tragedy had a significant political dimension. Certain sections of the population accused the government of neglecting their plight, and the slow response to the disaster fueled political discontent. The political implications of the disaster were not lost on the then-president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who faced increasing opposition from the population. The government’s response to the Vargas Tragedy was seen as an act of incompetence and neglect, further eroding the public trust in the regime.

The political repercussions of the Vargas Tragedy did not end there. The refugee crisis triggered by the disaster gave impetus to the fight for greater political and economic rights in Venezuela. The refugees were from socio-economically deprived backgrounds and were particularly susceptible to political messaging. The opposition parties leveraged the refugee crisis to gain support and political leverage. The Vargas Tragedy and the resultant refugee crisis reinforced the need for greater accountability and transparency in government. The memory of the tragedy remains a factor in the country’s political landscape.

The Ongoing Impact of the Refugee Crisis

The refugees displaced by the Vargas Tragedy continue to be impacted by the disaster years after it occurred. The displaced persons are prone to poverty, poor health, and inadequate housing. The economic and social impact of the disaster has been felt by generations. The education and career prospects of those displaced by the disaster have been dealt a severe blow. The refugee crisis continues to be a burden on the country’s infrastructure, which is struggling to support its people adequately.

Conclusion

The Vargas Tragedy refugees are one of the many groups of people impacted by the disaster. The refugee crisis caused by the tragedy had a profound impact on the people of Venezuela and continues to bring hardship for those affected. The refugee crisis triggered by the disaster had a political and social dimension, further complicating relief and recovery efforts. More needs to be done to address the root causes of the disaster, such as climate change, and to address the ongoing consequences for those displaced by it. Ultimately, the Vargas Tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness and the need for greater accountability in government.


The United States of America has a pretty widely accepted reputation for being a proverbial melting pot of different peoples, cultures and ideas. Immigrantpermanent residencerefugeesFor the sake of historical perspective, the Vargas Tragedy in Venezuela was one of the worst natural disasters in history to happen in terms of those not as immediately classifiable as earthquakes, cyclones, floods or famine.

It was brought into effect by unusually strong rainfall amounts to an area that was prone to flooding and had only seen steady increases in population since the last major instance of flooding in the region. The flooding led to mudslides, and the combined forces of the weather and the geological response weakened the infrastructure of many roads and buildings. By the end tally, between ten and thirty thousand people were presumed dead, and whole towns were more or less destroyed, forcing the relocation of much of the Vargas state’s constituents.

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, though, was insistent on devising solutions for the displaced that did not require the granting of immigrant status by other countries, especially America. One plan of Chávez’s was relocation of a large section of the Vargas state population to the central part of the country on a permanent basis, which, true to the nature of establishing any immigrant or other stranger in a new location, would be very time-consuming and expensive.

The President also started a campaign for able Venezuelans to “adopt” their compatriots for a spell. Still another establishment of relief organizations, the Venezuelan government and others who could offer to accommodate the tragedy victims were refugee camps. Refugee camps are used quite generally to house the displaced until a time when they can be resettled in their legal residence; if this is not possible, authorities can try to re-establish inhabitants of refugee camps as an immigrant to other countries, though success is by no means a guarantee.

The legacy of the Vargas Tragedy is multifaceted. Clearly, the huge death toll and the suggestion that more could have been done by authorities to limit that number stick out, but another hallmark of this disaster was the profound anti-American sentiment concerning their relief efforts. Even after U.S. relief efforts had been sent out and even in the face of apparent need, Chávez was still adamant about his stance, illustrating the complications of politics in refugee and immigration law.

Future of Refugees After a Natural Disaster

Future of Refugees After a Natural Disaster

Introduction

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and earthquakes often leave catastrophic destruction in their wake. Such disasters often result in significant loss of life, displacement, and damage to property and infrastructure. These consequences can be particularly severe for refugees, who are already forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, or other circumstances. With the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, it is essential to consider the future of refugees in these situations. In this article, we will explore the current state of refugee assistance after natural disasters and consider some potential solutions to improve the outcomes for these vulnerable populations.

The Current State of Refugee Assistance After Natural Disasters

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were over 82 million forcibly displaced people worldwide as of mid-2020. Many of these individuals are refugees who have fled their homes due to conflict or persecution in their home countries. In addition to these challenges, refugees face additional difficulties when they are impacted by natural disasters.

One of the primary challenges for refugees after a natural disaster is displacement. Natural disasters can cause significant damage to homes, infrastructure, and entire communities. As a result, many refugees are forced to flee these areas, often without any warning or knowledge of where they will go. This displacement can be particularly traumatic for individuals who have already experienced similar traumatic events in their home countries.

Another critical challenge for refugees in the aftermath of natural disasters is access to basic needs such as shelter, food, and water. Natural disasters can disrupt supply chains and damage infrastructure, which can lead to shortages of essential resources. For refugees who are already living in difficult conditions, these challenges can be particularly acute.

Challenges Facing Refugee Children After Natural Disasters

Refugee children are among the most vulnerable populations in the aftermath of natural disasters. According to the UNHCR, there were over 30 million children living in displacement at the end of 2020. These children face various challenges, including:

1. Displacement and separation from their families: Natural disasters can cause families to be separated, and children may become displaced without their parents or other family members.

2. Loss of education and development opportunities: Natural disasters can disrupt education and other opportunities for children to develop socially and emotionally.

3. Trauma: Children who have already experienced trauma in their home countries may be particularly vulnerable to the added trauma of a natural disaster.

4. Health risks: Natural disasters can lead to increased health risks for children, including exposure to disease and poor living conditions.

Potential Solutions

Despite the challenges that refugees face after natural disasters, there are several potential solutions to improve outcomes for these vulnerable populations. Some possible solutions include:

1. Preparing communities for disasters: One of the most effective ways to help refugees after natural disasters is to prepare communities before they happen. This can include creating emergency plans, building infrastructure that can withstand disasters, and providing access to information about hazards and evacuation procedures.

2. Providing basic needs: Ensuring that refugees have access to essential resources such as shelter, food, and water can help mitigate the impact of natural disasters. This can be done by improving supply chain management, providing aid packages, and creating temporary housing solutions.

3. Addressing mental health needs: Many refugees may experience trauma, anxiety, and other mental health challenges after natural disasters. Providing access to mental health services can help support these individuals and address the long-term impacts of trauma.

4. Ensuring access to education: Education is critical for refugee children, and natural disasters can disrupt their access to schooling. Ensuring that children have access to education and other development opportunities can help mitigate the impact of these events on their long-term well-being.

Conclusion

Natural disasters will continue to impact vulnerable populations across the globe, including refugees. While these events can be devastating, there are several potential solutions that can help mitigate the impact of these events. By preparing communities, providing access to basic needs, addressing mental health needs, and ensuring access to education, we can help support refugees in the aftermath of natural disasters. With the increasing frequency and severity of these events, it is essential to address these challenges to ensure that refugees are not left behind.


With many natural disasterspropertyThis kind of refugee news may well be in our future, and in increasingly more frequent intervals, as a result of man’s hand in the shaping of the world environment. Scientific researchers, in tandem with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – the UNHCR

Still, while the UNHCR has full recognition of the gravity of these problems, it still has no formal recognition of the environmental or climate refugee. News that comes from the UNHCR  concerning refugees almost uniformly corresponds to those who have been estranged from their countries as a result of war or other form of political unrest.

Thus, while the UNHCR might be a valid way to obtain refugee news as a result of United Nations protocol, it is not a means of helping displaced people who are likewise forcibly removed from their homes. Considering how many people this currently affects and how trends may continue to be exacerbated, environmental climate change refugee status is something important enough that it would be a good measure with which to be more specific. By being an unclassified displaced person today, unfortunately, an individual may not even qualify for legal status as a resident between different governments. Either UNHCR must revise its terms, or the application for human aid may come too late to those who need it.

What to Do With Natural Disaster Refugees

What to Do With Natural Disaster Refugees

Introduction

Natural disasters are a common occurrence in various parts of the world. These disasters can range from floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and wildfires, among others. The effect of such events is disastrous and can lead to loss of life and property damage. People affected by natural disasters often become homeless, lose their livelihoods, and become refugees. Natural disasters have profound effects on the survivors’ wellbeing and their long-term livelihoods, particularly children and vulnerable groups.

In 2020, over 200 natural disasters occurred globally, affecting over 120 million people. In America alone, severe storms, hurricanes, and flooding affected more than 14 million people and resulted in numerous casualties. Consequently, policymakers face a daunting task of accommodating natural disaster refugees. This article explores some of the recommended strategies for accommodating disaster refugees.

Temporary Housing

The primary concern for natural disaster refugees is shelter. Providing temporary housing is the most immediate solution. Temporary shelters should be built in safe areas, free from potential risks such as land movement, floods, and other hazards. The government should identify public and private buildings, including schools, libraries, and community centers, that can provide temporary housing. The shelters’ layout should follow social distancing protocols, and occupants should have access to sanitation facilities to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks.

Such measures have been implemented in various countries, including America. Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided temporary housing for the affected population. Similarly, during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, FEMA coordinated temporary housing with state and local authorities to accommodate the affected populations.

Land Identification

After the disaster, people are often forced to move to new areas, as their previous settlement areas become inhabitable. The government must identify vacant land suitable for community resettlement and provide the necessary resources to support the relocation process. It is essential to ensure that the land is located in accessible and safe areas, where people can earn a livelihood.

During the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the government identified vacant land suitable for resettlement. However, the process was flawed due to a lack of proper structures and financing. Consequently, the resettled population faced challenges in accessing water, sanitation, and energy.

Community-based planning

Community-based planning is crucial in natural disaster resettlement processes. The resettled population must have a say in the decision-making process, particularly in building structures and infrastructure. Community-based planning promotes community participation, which enhances sustainability and promotes the affected population’s welfare.

Community-based planning has been successfully implemented in various disaster-prone areas worldwide. For instance, following the 2007 floods in Bangladesh, the government of Bangladesh introduced community-based planning. The process involved consultation with affected communities and ensured that the affected population was at the center of decision-making.

Job Placement

Natural disasters often result in occupational disruption for the affected population. Ensuring that the affected population has employment is essential to their long-term welfare. The government should establish job-placement programs that provide job opportunities for refugees. Moreover, initiatives such as skills training in marketable skills can help refugees become self-sufficient.

During the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, the Department of Labor in America established work-placement programs for affected populations. The program enabled displaced individuals to acquire new skills or retrain in their existing field.

Healthcare

Natural disasters can lead to a high prevalence of diseases. The affected population is often susceptible to diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and malaria due to inadequate sanitation. The government should provide adequate healthcare facilities to promote the health of disaster refugees. Healthcare services such as check-ups, disease prevention campaigns, and vaccinations should be made available to the affected population.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthcare in emergencies. Governments worldwide provided healthcare to populations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In America, the government established Covid-19 clinics to cater to populations affected by the virus.

Education

Natural disasters often result in the closure of schools, affecting the children’s education. The government should provide adequate funding to education programs to cater to the affected population. Moreover, authorities should establish alternative education programs such as online education and distance learning.

In Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria, the Department of Education established an online education program to cater to affected students. The program enabled students to continue with their education despite the disaster.

Conclusion

Natural disasters have severe socio-economic effects on the affected population, and policymakers should develop strategies to mitigate these effects. Temporary housing, land identification, community-based planning, job placement, healthcare, and education are some of the key strategies to accommodate natural disaster refugees. However, these strategies are not exhaustive, and policymakers should ensure that they cater to the affected population’s needs fully. Finally, investing in structural resilience can reduce the recurrence of such events, thus reducing the need for disaster resettlement processes.


Often times, with an earthquake or other natural disaster, the majority of the damage will be assumed to be with the initial force of the main event, as it was with the recent earthquake that devastated the city of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas in a matter of minutes, perhaps even seconds for some of the more structurally deficient buildings.

However, as was the case of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and even the Indian Ocean earthquake of 2005, the initial earthquake may have been the precipitating phenomenon for the destruction that ensued, but the bulk of the damage was incurred through collateral means and may even better recall the event to future generations. In terms of the latter, the whole chain of events was set in motion not by an earthquake above sea level (as the name “earthquake implies”) but the immense power of a 9.0-magnitude underwater earthquake that occurred on a fault off the coast of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean, which actually served to alter the rotation of the planet Earth as a whole.

This triggered a huge set of tsunami waves that was unable to be detected, owing to the unpredictability of earthquakes using current methods, the high population density of the impact zone and the fact a network to detect the tsunami waves was not viable given the poor economy of the region. All told, over 200,000 people died as a result of the quake-tsunami connection, and myriad others were forced to relocate as a result of the flooding.

As regards response to the refugees and lawful operations, the damage was so profound that even organizations who tend to more narrowly focus on political refugees, as people displaced by natural disasters are usually referred to by the term “displaced persons,” offered their services in relief efforts.

As for how to physically house the survivors of the tsunami, foreign governments and relief efforts alike phrased their relief efforts in terms of refugee status. The U.S. government radically altered its position on the acquisition of refugees and displaced persons, and Indonesia, Thailand and other countries saw the creation of refugee camps that provided aid and shelter for their nationals that worked in tandem with humanitarian organizations.

The Great Famine of Ireland was a stimulus for mass immigration to America in the 1850’s and 1860’s. The famine was in direct relation to the spread of potato blight across the potato crop in Ireland.

The effect on personal economies and human lives was exacerbated by an over dependence on the potato crop and the socioeconomic policies put in place. Ultimately, this dark period in Ireland’s history claimed over a million lives and put a tremendous dent in the indigenous Irish population. This loss of numbers in Ireland is further explained by strong emigration trends to the United States and elsewhere.

The effects of Irish refugee movement would also have enduring applications to today’s immigration law, as nativist reactions to these new settlers prompted reformers to establish quotas for immigrant groups and demanding minimum standards for literacy, effectively ending America’s “open door” policy on immigration.

While translations to the United States and immigration practices have yielded large numbers of legal and illegal Latin American immigrants to the country, it would be expected that asylum seekers, refugees and other displaced persons have contributed to the multicultural face of America in tangible ways.

In response to the Vargas Tragedy of 1999, then, Venezuelan nationals can be expected to make the pilgrimage to the “New World,” despite existing anti-American policies, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s rejection of American aid, and the attempts of the Venezuelan government to keep its citizens in the country. The Vargas Tragedy was a result of unusually high amounts of rainfall in a region already plagued by a tendency to flood, eventually giving way to mudslides that destroyed roads, buildings and other structures, in essence wiping out whole towns and displacing the majority of the state of Vargas.

President Chávez’s solution plan was indeed multifaceted. Included in his stratagem were permanent relocation to the interior of the country, temporary refugee camps erected by federal and relief services and even a unique means of protecting refugees, an “adoption” program by where able Venezuelan families could take in internally displaced victims for a time. Perhaps unfortunately, this call to arms for Venezuelans also involved a rejection of American aid in the form of the Armed Forces before they could arrive, illustrating the influence of politics on attitudes toward refugees.

The Love Canal Disaster and “Man-Made” Natural Refugees

The Love Canal disaster was, in fact, not a natural disaster per sé, as there was neither a massive loss of life nor were the events beyond human control. Problems arose when the original plans for a residential community with expansive parks and working canal were scrapped due to lack of funding, leaving the door open for local chemical companies to dump their waste in the unused site. Eventually, though, the need for the land was apparent, and despite toxicity levels in the ground beneath the community, schools and other residential functions were allowed to be built.

This led to serious health complications in a number of residents, and upon full realization of the gravity of the issue, the Love Canal site was put in a state of emergency by the President, the first disaster of an environmental nature to earn that dubious honor. The Love Canal disaster serves as another example of refugee status, at least in practical terms, within one’s own country, and paved the way for international recognition of environmental dangers as a catalyst for refugee migration.

Responses to the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 can be seen as reminiscent of the progressive spirit as it manifested in the United States and somewhat of a silver, or rather, golden lining for the city’s inhabitants. To be certain, San Francisco was hurt in the short term and long term in terms of material losses. Surely, the physical devastation of the city can not be ignored, as over two-thirds of the city succumbed to fires created in the wake of the initial 7.0-plus-magnitude earthquake along the San Andreas Fault.

Several thousands were killed by the quake and the fires, yet more were displaced by the carnage, and millions of dollars of damage was calculated to have been realized from the disaster. Moreover, as the city needed to be rebuilt, San Francisco was unable to continue to be a major factor in commerce on the West Coast for some time, redirecting business to Los Angeles and ensuring that the latter would be the premier destination in California. Still, for those who did not flee to nearby cities, there were hope and a new legacy to be found.

The U.S. government cared for its in-state refugees with the Army’s erection of makeshift (but structurally sound) refugee housing during the rebuilding process, evoking images of progressive reform to come. Furthermore, to San Francisco’s benefit, the rebuilding process allowed for a revival away from the corrupt influences of the local powers-that-be beforehand, and led to the formation of a new identity for the city as a place of cultural significance.

The tendency of most to regard natural disaster is to approach it by thinking only in terms of those dramatic events that occur within a moment’s notice and are obvious attention-grabbers and financial drains. Even so, some disasters, such as famine, take time to develop but may be just as deadly or affect just as many people. Such is the case with climate change and other environmental trends that lend themselves to be producers of large numbers of displaced persons. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR.