Disaster Aid and Black Families


By Hannah DreierJuly 11, 2021|Updated yesterday at 11:34 a.m. EDT

HALE COUNTY, Ala. — Not enough people were signing up for help after a series of tornadoes ripped through rural Alabama, so the government sent Chris Baker to figure out why. He had driven past the spot where a tornado threw a 13-year-old girl high into a tree, past where injured cows had to be shot one by one, and past where a family was crushed to death in their bathtub. And now, as another day began in this patchwork of destruction, he grabbed a stack of fliers with a picture of an outstretched hand and headed to his car to let people know Washington had assistance to offer.

“So we’ll do a convoy?” Baker asked the local official who had offered to show him around, looking down to check that the badge identifying him as a specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency was in place.

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