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Your Environment. Your Health.

EJ and Natural Disasters Town Hall: Southeast and Caribbean Region

Environmental Justice and Natural Disasters/COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Southeast and Caribbean Basin Region

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST
Virtual Event

Versión en Español de esta página

The Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice (EJ) EJ and Natural Disaster Subcommittee is hosting three virtual Regional Town Hall Meetings in early 2021.

The first two-hour virtual Town Hall Meeting will focus on the Southeast and Caribbean Basin Region (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. A two-hour disaster response training will also be offered to community members, volunteers, and other stakeholders who are interested at a later date.


  • Impacts of hurricanes, major floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes amidst COVID-19 on overburdened, underserved communities
  • Impacts of natural disasters on farm workers


The purpose of this Town Hall Meeting is to gain a better understanding of how natural disasters and COVID-19 impact minority, low-income, overburdened, and underserved communities, and how the federal government can better provide support to these communities to prepare and respond to their needs before, during, and after natural disasters.


The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina demonstrated how a natural disaster, in this case a hurricane and subsequent flooding, disproportionately impacts low-income, minority, overwhelmed, and underserved communities. Hurricane Katrina destroyed homes, limited access to clean water, and raised serious health concerns. Many communities are still seeing the impacts of the hurricane, especially as the Gulf Coast continues to be impacted by many natural disasters. There is no question that the frequency and the intensity of storms is increasing, and low-income, minority, overburdened, and underserved communities are suffering from repeated trauma caused by natural disasters. Ways to prepare for, respond to, and recover from these disasters will be further impacted by the challenges of COVID-19.

Presenters will discuss how EJ communities have been impacted by the hurricanes, flooding, and COVID-19, and how COVID-19 has affected the preparedness and response to these disasters.

Participants will also engage in a discussion on the impacts of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, flooding, and COVID-19, on communities, and how the federal government can better support these communities.

Desired Outcomes

To gather lessons learned and best practices from on the ground voices, as well as identify action steps which the federal government can work on to better assist overburdened and underserved communities. To identify concrete action items, such as specific projects, that the Federal EJ IWG can work on to meet the EJ needs of these communities.


Virtual Meeting Platform

This meeting will be held on ZoomGov. Please check to make sure you have the latest version of Zoom installed on your computer or mobile device.


We have reached maximum capacity, so registration is now closed for the Southeast and Caribbean Basin Town Hall Meeting.

If you would like to submit a comment to include in the notes for this meeting, please send your comments to with the subject line “EJ and Natural Disaster Town Hall.” As a reminder, we have two more Town Hall Meetings coming up in the near future, focused on the Gulf Coast (February 24), and West Coast (March 31). More information about these meetings will be posted soon, so please check back to this website. We encourage you to register for one of these two meetings if you live in either of these regions, once registration becomes available.

Simultaneous Interpretation Available

This event will be in both English and Spanish, however, we will have simultaneous interpretation available during the general session.

Disaster Preparedness and Response Training Event

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) will host a virtual disaster response training as part of the Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice (EJ) EJ and Natural Disasters Subcommittee Town Hall Meetings. See the event flyer for additional information.

Date: February 3, 2021
Time: 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST
Training Registration

Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations Requests

Individuals with disabilities who need accommodation to participate in these events should contact Kerri Voelker: or 919-794-4710. TTY users should contact the Federal TTY Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Requests should be made at least 5 business days in advance of the event.

Closed captioning in English will be provided in the Town Hall general session.


If you have question about the content of the Town Hall meeting, please contact Joy Lee Pearson at or 202-715-3851. Logistical questions should be directed to Kerri Voelker at or 919-794-4710.

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