Disaster Recovery

How the Costs of Disasters like Hurricane Ian are Calculated – and Why it Takes so Long to Add Them Up

COMMENTARY | A recovery expert explains what these estimates include and what could be done to make disasters less costly.

Puerto Rico Storm Victims Report Waits Over 5 Hours on Calls to FEMA

Long hold times contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency are just one challenge emerging as the nation responds to Hurricane Fiona, which swamped the commonwealth last month, along with Hurricane Ian’s devastating hit to Florida.

When the Grid Goes Out, Could Solar and Batteries Power Your Home?

COMMENTARY | Researchers explore what it would take for homes and commercial buildings to ride out long power outages, of three days or more, with solar and batteries.

'We've Never Seen a Flood Event Like This': Ian's Devastating Hit to Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis described "historic" damage to parts of the state from the hurricane, which made landfall with winds around 150 mph and caused massive flooding.

Biden Wants to Move Faster Sending Disaster Aid to States

It can take upwards of a year to make funding available under a Department of Housing and Urban Development grant program that the president wants to rework. There's at least some bipartisan support for reforms in Congress.

Coastal Homebuyers are Ignoring Rising Flood Risks, Despite Clear Warnings and Rising Insurance Premiums

COMMENTARY | Part of the problem may be mortgage lenders and appraisers aren’t factoring in properties’ vulnerability to sea level rise, so risk isn't necessarily priced in to houses.

Tourism, Business Travel May Not Fully Recover for 4 Years, Industry Officials Say

Corporate travel spending dropped 70% during the pandemic, contributing to the tax revenue losses that tourism-dependent cities and states experienced.

Texas Workers Struggle to Pay for Groceries and Rent after Losing Wages During Winter Storm

Many hourly wage employees across the state lost working hours last week during the storm and power outage disaster. Now, they’re left with a choice between paying for rent or groceries.

'I Need to Find Water, and I Need to Find it Now': A Local Official Takes Disaster Relief Into Her Own Hands

Paige Ellis, a city council member in Austin, Texas tracked down 10 pallets of bottled water and distributed it across her district after winter storms left thousands in the state without power or water.

Marijuana Companies Seek Disaster Relief

Marijuana businesses can’t access traditional insurance or federal disaster funds.

A New Service Model for Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Programs

COMMENTARY | A “shared services” model for procurement could eliminate some of the problems and pain points faced by state and local governments in the wake of a disaster. 

Oregon Expects Reopening and Repairing Roads Damaged by Wildfires Will Take Months

Over 200 miles of Oregon roads were closed as of last week due to the catastrophic blazes. The state’s transportation department is dealing with problems like hazardous trees and rockslide risks.

Report: High-Tide Flooding Broke Records Last Year. It Will Probably Keep Getting Worse.

Nineteen locations around the country in 2019 set or tied records on the number of flood days, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found.

Report: Governments Should Turn to AI Before Disaster Strikes

The technology could help forecast future and impending disasters in real time, assess damage in the aftermath, and predict and evaluate impacts.

Millions of Homeowners Who Need Flood Insurance Don’t Know It—Thanks to FEMA

It is FEMA’s job to warn homeowners about major flood risks, but its approach is notoriously limited. In Cook County alone, researchers found about six times as many properties in danger as FEMA estimated. Look up your address with a new tool.

Despite Mitigation Efforts, Watchdog Finds Rise in Repeatedly Flooded Properties

The Government Accountability Office says steps like acquiring and demolishing flood-prone homes won't be enough to shore up the finances of the National Flood Insurance Program.

NOAA Predicts Active Hurricane Season

The federal agency's annual forecast projects a likelihood of at least 13 named storms and six hurricanes.

California, New York Extend Mortgage Relief to Homeowners

Action taken by the states will temporarily halt foreclosure proceedings and allow residents to defer mortgage payments.

Census Gives Opposite Advice to Tornado-Damaged Dayton, Flood-Ravaged Houston

When people are displaced following a natural disaster, where should they be counted for the census? The answer could mean a lot of money down the line for communities trying to rebuild.

States Take the Reins in Resilience Planning

Governors say states are taking steps to assure their long-term resiliency in the face of worsening climate change—and in the absence of sweeping federal action.