Severe weather takes a higher toll on certain groups

01/22/2014 | Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The

People who are members of racial minority groups often are disproportionately affected by severe weather events such as Hurricane Katrina, writes J. Marshall Shepherd, president of the American Meteorological Society and the Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. These individuals, in addition to children, the elderly and poor people, "also experience, at a greater rate, a multitude of extreme weather-climate health issues like heat stress, upper respiratory illnesses, water borne disease, and post-traumatic stress," he writes.

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