When Hurricane Ida bashed the Louisiana coast, it filled up already crowded hospitals and multiplied the risk of COVID-19 transmission during evacuations. The storm is yet another disaster that magnified existing issues caused by the pandemic.

The University of Delaware's Disaster Research Center has several experts who can discuss these "cascading" disasters, as well as issues surrounding pets, the environment, maternal health, disaster policy and infrastructure.

Victor Perez, social justice, environment, climate change: "Compound" or "cascading" disasters, i.e. how Hurricane Ida, combined with COVID-related hospitalizations, create new, complex problems ( such as full hospitals with diminished capacity for evaluated patients).

Jennifer Horney, epidemiology: Risk of COVID transmission as people evacuate and the large potential for environmental exposures post-flooding along areas of concentrated petrochemical production.

Sarah DeYoung, pets and maternal issues: The safety and handling of pets, as hundreds of cats and dogs were sent from the impacted areas to Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Also homelessness, maternal and infant health and evacuation decision-making. "Loss of power will pose challenges for families and infants," she said.

Jennifer Trivedi, disaster vulnerability, resiliency: What recovery from Ida might look like, how long it might last, what problems may emerge and what people need to consider. Also, in the short-term, the immediate response/relief needs beyond the initial triage.

A.R. Siders, managed retreat, rebuilding and disaster policy: Can talk about how disaster policy needs to change – people are currently compensated/ assisted based on the value of their property damage rather than the disruption they experience to their lives.