Hurricane Michael hit Florida’s Gulf Coast in October of 2018 as a category five hurricane. The storm leveled communities to the West of Tallahassee, damaging homes, displacing residents, crippling some industries, and leaving piles of debris behind. In its wake, I set off to study how civil society – nonprofits, religious organizations, and less organized…
Throughout my research in a string of beach towns and rural inland communities along a stretch west and south of Tallahassee known as the Forgotten Coast, I directly observed nonprofits relying upon donated funds, supplies and labor to meet housing and other needs not being met by flood insurance or government funding.
As much as we push to maintain objectivity and distance, we study what we do because it matters and we hope to have an impact through our research.
Michael went through a prolonged period of intensification and we anticipate that these periods of intensification will get longer as the warmest waters expand in coverage due to anthropogenic climate change. Let’s hope for better luck next season, but I will not bet on it.