Equal access to electricity affects the entire global population, having the most profound impact on women, children and the economically disadvantaged. In March 2017 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a report calling for access to electricity to be classified as a human right. Access to electricity is not currently defined as a human right in the United States today, but such an acknowledgement would likely help keep disadvantaged communities safer and healthier and would help them achieve more financial security. As we are seeing in the four natural disasters that have happened in the past six weeks, without a reliable source of electricity, health care cannot be delivered to those in need. Modern medical equipment for testing, diagnosing, preventing and treating requires electricity.
While people may believe that natural disasters are “equal opportunity” catastrophes, the reality is that natural disasters impact people in different ways and tend to have a more negative and lasting impact on certain identity groups such as women, poor people, people who are disabled, people who are elderly and undocumented immigrants.