Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29 at least 62 dead, over a million without electricity and hundreds to be rescued - horrific measures of devastation, of course, when they were broadcast on our screens - but it's easy for viewers across the country to forget that this is too common a sight. Louisiana and its neighbors have been hammered storm after storm, with a total of five storms last year , including one as powerful as Hurricane Ida, while facing a Covid-19 outbreak . And with a lotoup people looking for a public shelter, there is a danger that the Covid- The pandemic of 19 will only intensify the day after Ida. Communities in the region can't catch their breath. Better reconstruction - and faster - would help mitigate the effects of this cycle of disasters. President Joe Biden's campaign adopted the phrase as a slogan, but rebuilding better has a history of over 20 years preceding the current Presidency . As described in the Sendai 2015 Framework of United Nations ReductionDisaster Risk Better reconstruction means focusing on recovery which not only restores the damage from a disaster but also reduces future risks. To achieve this goal today, we need to examine how our disaster preparedness and response systems themselves create risk, reinforcing elements such as wealth inequality, systemic discrimination or access to essential services. The practice of building back better not only avoids these paths, it tackles them head-on. Read moreIncomplete recovery from events such as the pandemic and the five named storms that hit the state in 2020 have mixed up to the fallout from Hurricane Ida. Covid-19 complicated evacuation efforts this time and left the hospitalsfilled with pandemic patients struggling to cope with the effects of the storm. Hurricane Laura hit the state a year ago, followed shortly after by Hurricane Delta, and residents of places like Lake Charles are still struggling through long waits and obstacles Byzantine bureaucrats to access the federal help they need to rebuild. The pandemic is militarized Last month, the mayor of Lake Charles pointed out $ 900 million of housing needs and $ 400 million of local school needs still unmet as a result of others recent weather disasters.In addition, Lake Charles and other communitiess neighbors saw three more weather disasters as they waited for help to arrive after Hurricane Laura. Disaster response and recovery occurs at scales far beyond the resources of a single community, with both official aid and unofficial aid and assistance from neighbors. If the recovery had progressed before Ida landed, cities like New Orleans might have more aid in the form of mutual aid available to them today. With the state now focusing on immediate needs after Ida, and agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) overworked and stuck with systems and rules that perpetuate, for example, racial inequalities in recovery efforts and funding, who knows how much longer the gens already suffering from inequalities in wealth, housing, and more could wait for the funds they need to rebuild their homes and livelihoods? The state health systems have been overtaxed since the first wave of the pandemic . How much longer will they fight against unbearable influxes of patients now that the picture has been complicated by evacuations from several hospitals and the prospect of new patients arriving and more room in hospitals in neighboring areas? Decades of research on the reconstruction after a disaster raise several considerations as affected areas rebuild after Ida. First, state and federal programs must provide sufficient resources to rebuild. Billions of dollars in dike system upgrades across much of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 appear to have shown their value during Ida, holding flood waters back into the city; a success, but incomplete . Other infrastructures remain in poor condition or in fragile condition, like widespread power outages and incomplete repairs of the 2020 hurricane season show. Grid investment, with options like incorporating microgrid strategies and technologies where the network can decentralize and operate autonomously; building bigger , more duplicative grids; and answer the resilient supply chain and personnel can all help keep lights on longer and speed up repairs. Federal Disaster Mitigation Grants are starting to fix this, but more funding and more attention to all levels are necessary. We are not bad guys or victims - we are real peoplelooking for a better life It is also crucial to know where and how resources are directed. Instead of a recovery that recreates the conditions that were vulnerable to disasters in the first place, rebuild systems in ways that reduce the future vulnerability of communities and their inhabitants - and do it quickly enough to show changes on the ground before. as the next storm hits - should be a priority. Some questions relate to physical infrastructure, but that cannot be the only goal. the environment must be part of the equation. For example, the southern bayous provide essential protection against flooding caused by hurricanes by presenting itself as a natural barrier against storms . They should be protected against development, dredging and invaded specieshealth, and extended by natural rehabilitation efforts to the extent possible. Building stronger communities means investing in making them more equitable. Hurricane Katrina showed the importance of communities supporting each mitigation, intervention and recovery; Similarly, this recent disaster saw towns like Lake Charles, still recovering from past storms, serve as hosts for evacuees from Ida. Investing in communities could support the crucial role of 'day-to-day resilience' in disasters and the preparedness of these communities for large and small events. How can a system rely on a 72 hour emergency kit or reimbursable home repairs and long the subject of many preparedness and recovery plans, in a state of with an economic prosperity marker which has been regularly ranked among the last nationally, even before the pandemic? Finally, it can also be crucial to ask who benefits from better reconstruction? recovery, to ensure that the most vulnerable and affected people receive the support they need to recover. Receive our free weekly newsletter Subscribe to the new one newsletter. Join us on Twitter and Facebook Although the principles behind these ideas are relatively simple, their implementation is not easy. Finding the money to do it in a way that will stand the test of time is a significant challenge, as evidenced by slow recoveries from last year's hurricanes and the ongoing pandemic. A congressional infrastructure bill could provide some of this, but perhaps more is needed to support the environment and communities. A re-articulation of existing policies and processes may also be necessary. Federal law allows FEMA to help rebuild better initiatives, which were carried out in part after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, but not to the extent necessary to build true resilience. Nevertheless, FEMA policies may not sufficiently integrate the ideals of reconstruction.disaster recovery and may struggle to deliver resources quickly. It may be wise to recognize the capacity and knowledge of community members and partners and to find creative solutions to work with them. At the same time, community approaches do Nor are they a quick fix : Efforts could also be made to prevent the creation of disaster risks outside the community, including addressing ongoing climate change, factors that exacerbate vulnerability and to external support systems.