Natural disasters

73rd General Assembly
Salt Lake City, Utah
October 27-30

WHEREAS a large number of natural disasters have struck the Americas in the past year, in the form of hurricanes and earthquakes that left hundreds of people dead and thousands of people without homes, turning 2017 into a tragic year for the hemisphere

WHEREAS Hurricane Harvey, described as the worst hurricane to hit the United States since Katrina in 2005, left at least 88 people dead and 300,000 homes and businesses in Texas destroyed or damaged

WHEREAS the passage of Hurrican Irma through the Caribbean left at least 25 people dead, 90% of the island of Barbuda destroyed, 600,000 people without electricity in Puerto Rico, more than 11,000 people without homes in Cuba, flooding in the Florida Keys, and severe destruction in cities such as Orlando and Tampa, as well as at least 19 people dead

WHEREAS Hurricane Maria left more than 30 people dead in the Dominican Republic and 43 in Puerto Rico

WHEREAS Hurricane Nate left at least 32 people dead in Central America

WHEREAS Mexico was struck by two powerful earthquakes that left 471 people dead and, according to the Mexican government, affected more than 12 million people

WHEREAS journalists had to face the hardships inherent to these disasters, which also took a toll on their families and their media outlets


To extend special recognition and expressions of solidarity to all of the journalists, reporters, photographers, camera operators, and producers who brushed aside hardships—such as closed roadways, utility outages, and scarcities of food and water—and maintained their spirits while making it a priority to report on these disaster

To invite media outlets throughout the hemisphere to establish guidelines and protocols in the event of tragedies so that their reporting may be carried out in a more organized way