Stacy Fernández / News21

Overview content

Out of sight, out of mind: Small communities struggle in the shadow of larger disasters

Communities devastated by smaller disasters receive a fraction of the national attention and the funding.

The faces of disaster

These are the faces of those who have been impacted by natural disasters over the last decades.

State of Emergency documentary series

Watch our 4-part documentary series investigating natural disasters, response and recovery. Each chapter explores the unique problems associated with different disasters, specifically hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and flooding.

State of Emergency podcast

Listen to our 5-part series covering all stages of a disaster, from the first-hand accounts of survivors and first responders, to how we’ve adapted to the new normal as a country.

All stories

Wildfire-vulnerable communities search for ways to live with growing threat

Despite federal fire suppression costs quadrupling and an increase in employed firefighters, the damage caused by wildfires has increased fivefold.

After the deluge: Historic floods spell trouble for farmers, rural communities and the nation

Even after record flooding in the Midwest, people with ties to the land — whose livelihoods depend on living close to waterways — don’t want to move.

Displacement after disasters: When there’s no place to call home

In the last decade, natural disasters have displaced nearly 7.3 million Americans leaving them in hotels, trailers, strangers homes, and some — on the streets.

Developments in disaster-prone areas means big bucks for builders, but can leave communities at risk

Some places burn and flood repeatedly. We’re building homes there anyway.

Moments of great darkness: Children at the mercy of Maria

Hurricane Maria damaged 45% of children’s homes, making life in Puerto Rico harder and even forcing some to leave for the mainland.

Children of Katrina: The lost years

Research shows that disasters are especially disruptive for the youngest survivors. The children who lived through Katrina agree.

‘What are we going to walk away to?’ Socioeconomic conditions determine who best recovers from disasters

Most people leave disaster-prone areas. Those that stay behind usually don’t have the means to leave, and poverty rates only increase after disasters.

People with disabilities and older adults left out in the storm

For people living with disabilities, slow recovery after disasters is particularly dangerous. Inadequate resources leave advocates fearing the next big one.

‘Fraud follows the money’: Identity theft, price gouging and fake insurance claims plague disaster relief efforts

When money arrives in disaster-torn communities, so do fraudsters who steal millions of dollars in recovery funding every year.

Without federal aid, states help themselves

Without a federal major disaster declaration, FEMA assistance isn’t available. Either states pay to rebuild, or people are on their own.

No clear solutions as weather keeps plunging U.S. into darkness

Restoring power has been an issue since the first light bulb flickered on 140 years ago. Today, when disasters hit millions are still being left in the dark.

Mental health struggle of storm survivors: ‘It follows them forever’

Research shows that recovery from natural disasters needs to go deeper than repairing homes and communities. Survivors need mental health help too.

Extreme weather galvanizes believers of climate change but doesn’t persuade skeptics

Scientists point to worsening floods, more powerful hurricanes and larger wildfires as evidence of climate change – but many Americans remain unconvinced.

‘Everybody is a first responder’ in disasters, police and firefighters say

As demand for first responders increases, there's less emergency personnel available, forcing individuals to find solutions themselves.

FEMA still struggles with pre-disaster planning

Watchdog reports and experts point to gaps in FEMA’s pre-disaster planning.

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