Some Puerto Ricans had to restore downed power lines themselves after Hurricane Maria.
It's been one year since a Category 4 storm turned Puerto Rico into a disaster zone. Today, nearly every pillar of society — including the economy, health care and schools — remains hobbled.
President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd at Calvary Chapel in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico in October 2017 following Hurricane Maria. Trump congratulated Puerto Rico for escaping the higher death toll of “a real catastrophe like Katrina.” A new study suggests almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
As Trump fumes about the Hurricane Maria death toll, it's clear that politics and political considerations often play an important role in how death toll estimates are communicated to the public.
Flooding in Kinston, North Carolina during Tropical Storm Florence, September 14, 2018.
NC National Guard
Widespread flooding in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence shows the need for better advance planning in inland areas of the south and mid-Atlantic, especially near rivers.
Buildings damaged by Hurricane Maria are seen in Lares, Puerto Rico, October 2017.
Thousands died after Hurricane Maria, but it did not have to be that way. Early evidence should have led the government to a much stronger response.
Roberto Clemente State Park employees in New York, with donated bottled water bottles bound for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
If you would like to assist from afar, let the professionals procure goods and services.
Assembling sandbags in Virginia Beach, Va., before Hurricane Florence’s arrival.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Many factors can influence people to evacuate or stay in place when disasters loom. Research using Facebook posts suggests that people with broad social networks are more apt to get moving.
Farm near Seven Springs, North Carolina, surrounded by water on Oct. 25, 1999, nearly six weeks after Hurricane Floyd.
AP Photo/Karen Tam
Hurricanes in the southern US have caused widespread damage inland in recent decades, mainly through river flooding. But evacuations and stormproofing focus almost entirely on keeping people safe on the coasts.
High tides, whipped in by Hurricane Hazel in 1954, shattered boats and buildings in Swansboro, N.C.
AP Photo, File
As Hurricane Florence is expected to pound the Carolinas with significant flooding, an insurance expert explains how the program designed to help the millions affected recover.
Hurricane Florence, as seen over the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 9.
NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center/Handout via REUTERS
How do experts know when and where the next big hurricane is going to hit? A look at the complicated science of forecasting.
Beach erosion in Nags Head, North Carolina, photographed May 15, 2005.
Many US coastal towns are building defenses to protect against rising seas and storms. This can encourage people to stay in place when they should be moving inland.
Homes surrounded by water from the flooded Brazos River in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Freeport, Texas, Sept. 1, 2017.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Many people board up their houses and stay in place during disasters – but often they aren't prepared to go without water, power or transportation for days or weeks afterward.
People of color tend to suffer financially more than whites after natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina.
A new study shows that natural disasters enrich white victims while hurting people of color, worsening wealth inequality. And government aid contributes to the problem.
Syrian airstrike survivors.
Warning Syrians of approaching airstrikes via social media is helping save lives.
Businesses in Humble, Texas, part of metropolitan Houston, surrounded by floodwater from Hurricane Harvey, August 29, 2017.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File
Hurricane Harvey swamped much of Houston in 2017, causing more damage than all other US hurricanes except Katrina. But now the city is authorizing construction in zones at high risk for flooding.
In 2017 18.8 million people were displaced by natural disasters, with floods accounting for 8.6 million. Climate change is poised to drive those numbers higher still.
NWCG / HANDOUT
Wildfires in the US have drawn thousands of firefighters. Meanwhile, Indonesia is struggling to rebuild in the wake of earthquakes. What's the difference? Poverty and access to resources.
Farmers need help to plan for droughts, not just to respond to them when things get desperate.
The government has offered emergency payments to drought-stricken farmers. But if we really care about them, we'll also invest in long-term drought resilience measures to reduce impacts.
Thousands of houses has been destroyed by earthquakes in Indonesia.
As Indonesia reels from two deadly earthquakes, it's time to rebuild smarter and stronger.
Firefighters hose down flames from an advancing wildfire July 28, 2018, in Redding, Calif.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Wildland firefighting has always been a risky job, but development in fire-prone areas is making it more dangerous by putting forest firefighters in situations they are not equipped or trained for.
The Carr Fire tears through Shasta, California, July 26, 2018.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
Climate change, development, past forest management policies and current firefighting practices are creating conditions for large, costly wildfires.