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The Wall of Wind can create Category 5 hurricane winds for testing life-size structures. Margi Rentis/Florida International University

The Wall of Wind can blow away buildings at Category 5 hurricane strength to help engineers design safer homes – but even that isn’t powerful enough

The test facility in Miami helps building designers prevent future storm damage. With the warming climate intensifying hurricanes, engineers are planning a new one with 200 mph winds and storm surge.
Coastal cities like Port Arthur, Texas, are at increasing risk from flooding during storms. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New flood maps show US damage rising 26% in next 30 years due to climate change alone, and the inequity is stark

A street-by-street analysis shows where the risks are rising fastest and also lays bare the inequities of who has to endure America’s crippling flood problem.
People wade through high water to evacuate a flooded home in LaPlace, La., after Hurricane Ida struck. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 hurricane season showed US isn’t prepared as climate-related disasters push people deeper into poverty

The most vulnerable communities are being pushed deeper into poverty with each climate-related disaster. Part of the problem is that government aid helps the wealthiest people most.
A banner reads “Fuera Luma” (Luma out), opposing the company managing Puerto Rico’s electric grid, at a May Day protest in San Juan on May 1, 2021. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rico has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build a clean energy grid – but FEMA plans to spend $9.4 billion on fossil fuel infrastructure instead

Four years after Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, federal money to rebuild its electricity system is finally about to flow. But it may not deliver what islanders want.
In a year tied for the warmest on record globally, the U.S. was hit with costly hurricanes, wildfires, storms and drought. AP Photo/Noah Berger and Gerald Herbert

After a record 22 ‘billion dollar disasters’ in 2020, it’s time to overhaul US disaster policy – here’s how

NOAA released its list of climate and weather disasters that cost the nation more than $1 billion each. Like many climate and weather events this past year, it shattered the record.
Survivors of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 spent the night on beach chairs in a ballroom at the Melia Hotel in Nassau. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Hotels play vital role in relief efforts when disaster strikes

Hotels in the Bahamas are helping the islands recover from the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Dorian, just as they did in Florida following Irma in 2017.
Devastation from Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, Oct. 12, 2018. Residents whose homes have suffered major damage in multiple storms could eventually be offered buyouts, but the process can take several years. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Government-funded buyouts after disasters are slow and inequitable – here’s how that could change

Government agencies spend millions of dollars yearly to buy and demolish homes sited in floodplains. But the program is slow, cumbersome and doesn’t always help those who need it most.
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.” Lucas Jackson/Reuters

I’m a librarian in Puerto Rico, and this is my Hurricane Maria survival story

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.
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.

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