Burned area in Santa Rosa, California, Oct. 11, 2017.
US Department of Defense
Fire is part of the ecology in much of California, but recent wildfires have caused much more damage than past burns of similar size. A fire ecologist points to two key factors: winds and population growth.
Hurricane Maria denuded forests in Puerto Rico, revealing once-hidden homes and communities. A graffiti-sprayed saying is now popping up across the island, noting that “Behind the trees live people.”
A Puerto Rican librarian with a personal relationship to hurricanes describes the brutal reality of life on this Caribbean island more than a month after Maria and Irma left their mark.
In explaining the causes of wildfires, the media and policymakers typically point to environmental factors, but that’s not the whole story.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
The media and policymakers often say a 'perfect storm' of environmental factors cause wildfires but that ignores the role of irresponsible urban planning and development in raising fire risks.
Plush toys, recovered from a flooded home, hang out to dry on a wrought iron gate in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Long after the hurricane's over and the power comes back, residents can still experience lasting mental health issues.
Picking up the pieces after fire devastated the city of Santa Rose, California.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
A California fire expert explains why municipalities need to reassess urban fire risk and take steps to learn how to coexist with fire.
Crews clean up debris in a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Harvey in Beaumont, Texas, Sept. 26, 2017.
AP Photo/David Goldman
Epidemiologists study disease outbreaks in populations to determine who gets sick and why. In the wake of this year's hurricanes, they are assessing impacts from mold, toxic leaks and other threats.
Balinese students walk to their school as earthquakes continue and Mount Agung threatens to erupt.
Hundreds of earthquakes a day are being recorded near Mount Agung in Bali as the volcano threatens to erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.
Mass evacuations in response to natural disasters like Hurricane Maria are a logistical challenge, but also face psychological barriers to residents being willing and able to leave.
Promoting individual resilience will contribute to reductions in disaster threats for at-risk communities globally.
What’s in the water?
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Natural disasters expose people to toxic gases, bacterial illness and other serious dangers. How can people maximize their safety as they return home?
Water from Addicks Reservoir flows into Houston neighborhoods following hurricane Harvey in August. Allstate expects US$593 million in insurance losses for August due to the hurricane.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
Insurance-linked securities aim to shield insurers and governments from huge costs following disasters. But they bear eerie similarities to the securities that caused the 2008 financial meltdown.
Workers clear debris on Sept. 25, 2017 from the top of a building that collapsed in Mexico City after the Sept. 19 earthquake.
AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
Natural disasters are not only bad in the short term. Many families will see their health, well-being and ability to escape poverty affected for decades, and some will be affected for life.
Actress Jennifer Garner, a Save the Children trustee and ambassador, helped distribute supplies after Hurricane Harvey.
Anthony Rathbun/Save the Children via AP Images
After a hurricane strikes or an earthquake makes shockwaves, support nonprofits that are clear about what they do and how they will spend your money.
The interests of future holiday-makers are far from important in times of crisis, but tourism is economically key to these countries.
Few Puerto Ricans expect the Trump administration to help the island as it did hurricane-hit Texas and Florida, yet the island’s recent bankruptcy has left it facing a humanitarian disaster.
Hurricane Maria has left 3.4 million Puerto Ricans facing shortages of food, health care and transit, an American humanitarian crisis fueled by the US territory's May 2017 bankruptcy.
Earthquake drills, advance warning systems and higher building standards all help to save lives.
A satellite image of Hurricane Irma spiraling through the Caribbean.
The Caribbean is facing its second deadly hurricane in as many weeks. This isn't just bad luck: the region's extreme vulnerability to disaster also reflects entrenched social inequalities.
Residents and tourists are warned to stay at least six kilometres from Mount Agung in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia.
Warnings are being issued to stay clear of an Indonesian volcano following a series of earthquakes.
Immokalee, Florida sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Irma.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
The bills now pending in Congress won't do what it will take.
Picking up the pieces in Florida after Hurricane Irma.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
For the first time in years, Americans are acutely aware of the perils of extreme weather, but don't expect views on climate risks to shift overnight.
The city of Juchitan, on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, was hit particularly hard by the 8.2-magnitude earthquake that shook the region on Sept. 7, 2017.
The Tehuantepec gap in southeastern Mexico, where this month's massive earthquake originated, was long thought to be 'aseismic.' On September 7, scientists learned otherwise.