[***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***]
August 30th, 2021
Washington, DC—The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement in the wake of Hurricane Ida, making landfall and causing widespread destruction along the Gulf Coast.
As our country continues to grapple with the devastating impact of Hurricane Ida, we thank all of the first responders and government agencies who are leading the efforts to protect and begin the process of recovery.
As the recovery efforts begin in earnest, we call for impacted Asian American, Pacific Islander and immigrant communities to be actively engaged and provided in-language resources to support their recovery from this natural disaster. Language access must be a priority for all relevant agencies, especially the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). Additionally, Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and other mobile service providers should be located where they can be accessed by these impacted communities.
While we have been encouraged by the Biden Administration’s commitment to equity, past administration disaster recovery efforts have failed to adequately include vulnerable communities. We understand that responding to these circumstances requires coordination across federal, state and local governments, including Members of Congress and local leaders.
We recognize the importance of expediency; however, if Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill serve as examples, language and equitable access is critical and must not be ignored.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 38 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.