Natural Disasters

3D visualization predicts hurricane damage before it happens

By applying this technology to coastal communities or community buildings, such as schools and stores, researchers can help residents and officials create a plan for hurricane season.

States beg insurers not to drop climate-threatened homes

Property insurance companies say they’re taking losses amid escalating disasters.

How ‘kitty cats’ are wrecking the home insurance industry

Supercharged thunderstorms and tornadoes are ravaging the Midwest, driving insurance costs to record highs.

Texas flooding brings new urgency to Houston home buyout program

The Houston area is the site of perhaps the country’s longest-running experiment in the adaptation policy known as “managed retreat.” But the past week’s flooding has demonstrated that even this nation-leading program hasn’t been able to keep pace with escalating disaster.

Measuring and managing risk in the quest for resilience

COMMENTARY | Incidents like the Baltimore bridge collapse should motivate local leaders to think carefully about risk management, prevention and mitigation.

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How hurricane response helped one state’s cyber preparedness

Local governments in Louisiana are used to having the National Guard come in during natural disasters. Today, they are growing used to the guard coming in during a cyberattack, too.

North Carolina tried to rebuild affordable housing after a hurricane. It took half a decade.

Documents show how federal paperwork delayed the state’s recovery from Hurricane Florence and left low-income renters in the lurch.

Community groups step up to help rural agencies’ disaster recovery

Organizations like long-term recovery groups can help rural agencies get housing, financial, health care and food assistance to victims of natural disasters.

Estimated 2.5 million people displaced by natural disasters in 2023 tell a story of recovery in America and who is vulnerable

Residents who don’t know how to find information about disaster recovery assistance or can’t take time away from work to apply for aid can have a harder time getting quick help from federal and state agencies.

Amid rising costs, states scramble to budget for natural disasters

The U.S. set a new record for billion-dollar climate disasters in 2023. State budgets are increasingly shouldering the costs of more frequent and expensive weather events.

Federal permitting hampers climate goals and natural disaster mitigation, counties say

Officials, who are calling for reforms, say environmental regulations shouldn’t lead to yearslong waits to build transmission lines or impede their ability to respond to natural disasters.

FEMA to overhaul disaster aid to better help those most in need

The changes would address “the inequitable distribution of benefits” and help more low-income and homeless people.

FEMA to overhaul its disaster aid system after decades of criticism

The agency will offer upfront cash payments to disaster survivors and slash some of its infamous red tape.

Extreme weather cost $80 billion this year. The true price is far higher.

The U.S. saw 25 billion-dollar weather disasters this year—more than ever before. Next year could be worse.

LGBTQ+ people are nearly twice as likely to be displaced after disasters, new research shows

For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau has collected national data on sexual orientation and gender identity related to disaster displacement.

Why tenants struggle more in the wake of hurricanes

Eviction filings and threats of eviction tend to increase after hurricanes, which experts say could be fueling housing instability and displacement in the wake of disasters.

How does climate change threaten where you live? A region-by-region guide.

The U.S. government's most comprehensive report on the effects of climate change details challenges for every part of the country.

New flood model factors in human reactions

A new open-source flood risk model assesses communities' adaptive responses to flood events, which can help local governments prepare for flood intervention measures like altering development plans or elevating buildings.

How California and Florida are trying to stave off the home insurance crisis

Historically, the two states have had very different approaches to insuring against natural disasters. That’s changing.

FEMA is being sued for making flood insurance too expensive—and too cheap

The price isn't right, according to two lawsuits against the federal agency. The suits, one of which was brought by Louisiana and Republican state AGs, claim that high insurance rates could put residents at risk of economic ruin, but low rates do little to stop developments on at-risk land.