Disaster Recovery

FEMA rolls out climate adaptation loans for small and overlooked communities

The federal disaster relief agency has taken heat for steering past resilience funds to whiter, wealthier areas.

Hawaii’s wildfires led to fast tracking federal identity tools for unemployment claims

Unemployment is on the rise in Maui due in part to the drastic drop in tourism after the devastating wildfires. But the state's rapid deployment of an underutilized federal identity verification tool will help it get benefits to the people who really need it.

How to get federal disaster aid: FEMA is running out of money, but these strategies can help survivors of Hurricane Idalia and the Maui fires get aid faster

COMMENTARY | After a natural disaster strikes a community, determining and documenting the extent of damage to homes and property is a crucial step in receiving financial aid to recover.

Climate change is increasing stress on thousands of aging dams across the US

COMMENTARY | The American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that more than 2,300 high hazard potential dams—those that could cause loss of life or serious property damage if they fail—lacked emergency action plans.

Biden administration asks railroads for more details on hazardous cargo

A proposed rule is designed to help local emergency responders have better information when they arrive at the scene of a derailment.

To Rebuild Damaged Section of Interstate 95, Officials Will Draw on Past Incidents

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said during his visit Tuesday that a 2017 bridge collapse in Georgia may provide a roadmap for how to rebuild quickly. A timetable for building a replacement set to be released Wednesday will depend on many factors, including finding the necessary materials.

How to Convince Homeowners to Relocate Because of Climate Change

One expert says the path to success may lie not in the data itself, but in how governments communicate the data.

Damage Assessment Tool Streamlines Data Collection for Disaster Prep, Response, Recovery

Hurricane season is officially underway, and one county in Florida is looking to utilize the cloud to build on lessons learned during one of the state's most devastating hurricanes.

Earthquake data powered by next-gen supercomputers

A collaboration among national labs aims to provide an open-access website with datasets on how ground motion affects infrastructure during earthquakes.

The Federal Program to Rebuild After Hurricane Katrina Shortchanged the Poor. New Data Proves It

For years, low-income residents of New Orleans have said the state’s Road Home program paid them less to rebuild their homes compared to wealthier residents. They were right.

Housing Advocates Worry About Civil Rights Protections in Texas Disaster Standoff

The state is under scrutiny for how it distributed billions in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development dollars to prevent future storm and flood damage. But whether the feds will take action to address discrimination concerns is an open question.

Cloud-based property assessments speed hurricane recovery

Cities and counties that suffered damage from Hurricane Ian could access Accela’s damage assessment service to jump-start 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.

Resilient communications vital in storm’s aftermath

Hurricane Ian forced governments across Florida to respond quickly, leading to calls for improved systems and streamlined recovery operations.

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.