Natural Disasters

Oregon Tried to Inform Residents About Wildfire Risk. The Backlash was Explosive.

Homeowners fear the state will devalue their properties by publicizing their fire risk.

Recovery From a Disaster Like Hurricane Ian Takes Years, and Nonprofits Play Many Pivotal Roles

COMMENTARY | Many government agencies help people whose lives are thrown off course, but not everyone is eligible or able to access that aid.

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.

How Hurricane Ian and Other Disasters Are Becoming a Growing Source of Inequality

COMMENTARY | It's an issue even among the middle class, experts say.

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.

Florida Insurers Temporarily Blocked from Dropping Policies as Hurricane Ian Slams State

The state's property insurance market was facing troubles before the storm.

Public Health Agencies Lack Money to Combat Climate Threats

A study says climate change has worsened 58% of known infectious diseases.

Extreme Rainfall Will Be Worse and More Frequent Than We Thought

Researchers say some climate models are underestimating future floods.

FEMA Wants to End Flood Insurance for the Nation’s Riskiest Properties

Democrats and counties oppose the idea. Properties that have been flood-damaged multiple times account for nearly half the program’s payouts over the years.

Early Warning System Pinpoints Flooded Roads in Some States

Nearly a dozen states are using real-time, hyper-local monitoring to assess potential flooding at specific bridges or roads.

FEMA Chief: Top Priority Is Ensuring Adequate Staffing For Emergencies

Employees and managers alike continue to warn lawmakers about the impact that growing demands will have on the agency's ability to respond to disasters.

North Carolina House That Collapsed Into the Sea is a Warning for Millions of Americans

States and the federal government can do more to protect homebuyers, like reforming flood disclosure laws.

Katrina Survivors Were Told They Could Use Grant Money To Rebuild. Now They’re Being Sued

After Hurricane Katrina, struggling homeowners said they were told not to worry about the fine print when they received grants to elevate their homes. Now the state is going after them because they did exactly that.

The Southwest Is on Fire and Iconic Deserts and Towns Are at Risk

COMMENTARY | Fire season is getting longer, and the result is transforming desert ecosystems. The start to 2022 has been so dire that President Biden has issued a disaster declaration for one state.

Forest Service Rushes to Hire Enough Firefighters Ahead of Wildfire Season

Stakeholders warn shortages again threaten the Biden's administration's approach to combatting the fires.

FEMA Maps Hugely Underestimate US Flood Damage Risk

Researchers have used artificial intelligence to predict where flood damage is likely to happen across that country.

Disasters Can Wipe Out Affordable Housing Forever Unless Communities Plan Ahead

COMMENTARY | The most affordable homes face the highest risks from disasters for three key reasons.

How Brad Pitt’s Green Housing Dream for Hurricane Katrina Survivors Turned Into a Nightmare

So much went wrong with the homes built by the Make It Right Foundation that its low-income homebuyers were deprived of the financial security they were promised.