Articles on Hurricanes

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Hurricane Irma descends on the Caribbean islands. NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center/Handout via Reuters

Are catastrophic disasters striking more often?

Saturated media coverage of hurricanes like Harvey and Irma can make it seem like disasters happen all the time. Is the frequency of billion-dollar disasters really rising?
Flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Can the region rebuild infrastructure so that it can better withstand extreme weather events? AP Photo/David J. Phillip

6 rules for rebuilding infrastructure in an era of ‘unprecedented’ weather events

After extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, city planners need to think about the smartest way to rebuild. Here are some no-regrets infrastructure investment ideas.
Cars leaving Beaumont, Texas during a mandatory evacuation before the arrival of Hurricane Gustav, August 30, 2008. Patsy Lynch/FEMA

Why Texans heard conflicting messages about evacuating ahead of Hurricane Harvey

Why did some Texas coastal cities order mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Harvey while others, including Houston, did not? There is no formula for these decisions; either choice can backfire.
Interstate 69 in Humble, Texas is covered by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

After Harvey, many Texans will think differently about hurricane risks

Many people may have stayed put during Hurricane Harvey because no storm that big had struck Texas since 1961. But like New Orleans after Katrina, Texas is likely to be much better prepared next time.
The rainfall from Harvey has now exceeded the amount from the previous record-bearer, Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

What made the rain in Hurricane Harvey so extreme?

An expert in extreme weather events explains why the rain – and thus flooding – associated with Hurricane Harvey has been 'unprecedented.'
Brenda Bradley, 72, and her husband Jimmie, 78, survey flooding from Hurricane Harvey in their neighborhood in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, August 28, 2017. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Older victims of Hurricane Harvey may need special attention as Texas recovers

Evacuations and disruptions to health care during and after disasters like Hurricane Harvey are serious threats for older adults, who may need support well after relief operations end.
Two people walk down a flooded section of Interstate 610 in Houston in floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Americans who live far from coasts should also be worried about flooding

As Hurricane Harvey shows, flooding can happen wherever large storms stall and dumps lots of rain. A new study finds that development is increasing in flood zones inland, where people may not think they are at risk.
The Acros Fukuoka eco-building in Fukuoka, Japan boasts one of the world’s most famous green roofs. The GRIT Lab at the University of Toronto is working to bring green roofs to the city and beyond in order to combat climate change. (Shutterstock)

How green roofs can protect city streets from flooding

Green roofs could play a critical role in helping cities cope with extreme rainfall events in the age of climate change. The roofs essentially suck up stormwater like sponges if designed properly.
U.S. Army Spc. Pam Anderson applies first-aid medical attention to an elderly man during flood relief operations just outside of Winona, Minnesota, August 20, 2007. Staff Sgt. Daniel Ewer, U.S. Army

Disasters can harm older adults long after storms have passed

New research shows that older people are especially at risk during and after natural disasters, and may need medical help or other support well after relief operations end.
The sun rises behind the remains of a New Jersey roller coaster destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. AP Photo/Mel Evans

New data set explores 90 years of natural disasters in the US

As the rich move away from disaster-prone areas, the poor may be left behind.
All tropical cyclones in the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, with their locations shown at six-hour intervals and color representing maximum wind speed. Cyclonebiskit/Wikipedia

Getting ready for hurricanes: 6 essential reads

Major hurricanes threaten millions of people and billions of dollars in property along the Atlantic coast. Here experts advise on preparing, understanding forecasts and recovering after a storm.

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