Virginia Tech sociology professor outlines Maui disaster recovery social issues

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Days after the disaster in Maui, people on the island are recovering.

It’s more than just physical harm for survivors of the deadly wildfire.

It’s also having an impact on their mental health, Liesel Ritchie, a Virginia Tech professor of sociology said.

She studies disaster resiliency.

Ritchie said in this case it’s not clear what caused the fires, and in situations like this it can cause people to blame others, which ultimately can prevent or slow community recovery.

She said that this disaster will cause people to question things.

“Change forever, and the things that we saw as being safe at one point, the places we lived where we were secure no longer have that same sense of feeling,” Ritchie said.

She said if you want to help survivors, the best way to do that is to look for a reputable organization accepting monetary donations.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.