Natural Disasters

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.

The Billion Dollar Weather Disasters That Struck the US Last Year

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2021 was the nation's second worst year on record for costly weather and climate-related events.

How Governments Can Prevent Highway Snow Disasters

Transportation experts recommend ways for averting a weather fiasco like the one that shutdown Interstate 95 in Virginia, trapping thousands of motorists in their vehicles for more than a day.

Devastating Colorado Fires Cap a Year of Climate Disasters, With One Side of the Country Too Wet, the Other Dangerously Dry

U.S. disasters in 2021 told a tale of two climate extremes. A climate scientist explains why wet areas are getting wetter and dry areas drier.

Smashed Cars, Burnt Trees, Soggy Insulation: Post-disaster Cleanup Is Expensive, Time-consuming and Wasteful

COMMENTARY | Government agencies have detailed plans for responding to disasters, like the Dec. 10-11, 2021 tornados. But one issue doesn’t get enough attention: cleaning up the mess left behind.

California’s Water Supplies Are in Trouble as Climate Change Worsens Natural Dry Spells

The State Water Project cut its initial allocations for water agencies to 0% for 2022. A California water expert explains why.

Snowy Roads Will Be Cleared, But It Will ‘Take Extra Time’

The ongoing labor shortage has exacerbated existing plow driver hiring problems, transportation officials said.

Natural Disasters Can Set the Stage for Cyberattacks

Indiana and some other state and local governments are trying to prepare by holding drills or creating preparedness plans.

The Safest and Least Safe Cities in the U.S.

Columbia, Maryland tops a list for safest cities, while St. Louis is at the bottom, according to a recent report.

States Use Hurricane Ida Damage to Push Infrastructure Bill

Governors of both parties are lobbying Congress to ensure resilience measures are included.

Why People Resist Disaster Preparedness Spending

COMMENTARY | If the New Orleans region had invested more aggressively in disaster preparedness instead of disaster relief, the total cost of Hurricane Katrina could have been just $7 billion.

Autonomous Drones Could Speed Up Search and Rescue After Flash Floods, Hurricanes and Other Disasters

COMMENTARY | Drones that do not require individual pilots could cover ground quickly and identify people in need of help.