U.S. government shutdown a possibility if Congress can’t compromise on contentious issues

Jan 2, 2018
Congress has to pass legislation to fund the government by Jan. 19. Otherwise, there will be a partial government shutdown.  And some policy analysts believe there’s a good chance a partial shutdown is coming.  That’s because Democrats and Republicans are far apart on issues like immigration, and the ratio of defense and non-defense spending. They […]

Disaster recovery starts with temporary housing, but many Texans remain displaced

Dec 13, 2017
Rockport residents are living in temporary housing miles away, hurting the city's workforce and tax base.
Hotel rooms are few and far between in Rockport, Texas. Many people who received FEMA money for housing are using it to rent homes or hotel rooms in Corpus Christi, 30 miles away.
Andy Uhler/Marketplace

Harvey knocked out 80 percent of buildings in Aransas County, Texas, leaving little post-disaster housing

Dec 7, 2017
FEMA's bringing in manufactured units and recreational vehicles for temporary homes.
Rene Cartini and her husband, Bo, just moved into their FEMA manufactured housing unit last week. They plan to stay in it until they finish rebuilding their home.
Andy Uhler/Marketplace

The business of disaster: How does the U.S. spend relief money?

Dec 1, 2017
A guide to when the Federal Emergency Management Agency get involved and the rules governing how its funds are spent.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials help people with questions at the George R. Brown Convention Center which was a shelter for evacuees from Hurricane Harvey, in Houston on September 2, 2017.

White House requests $44 billion in disaster aid from Congress. Now the negotiations begin

Nov 20, 2017
Texas, Florida, and especially Puerto Rico say they need tens of billions of more in funding to help recovery efforts. But how do economic cost estimates from a disaster get turned into legislation?
U.S. Army soldiers pass out food, provided by FEMA, to residents in a neighborhood without grid electricity or running water on October 17, 2017 in San Isidro, Puerto Rico.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Are we spending enough on disaster preparation?

Sep 15, 2017
We spend a lot of money dealing with the disaster in front of us, but what about preparing for the next one?
Floodwaters from Hurricane Irma recede September 13, 2017 in Middleburg, Florida. Flooding in town from the Black Creek topped the previous high water mark by about seven feet and water entered the second story of many homes. 
Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Jack Wheeler and his wife, Tami Wheeler, watch as a FEMA housing inspector measures their flooded home in 2008 in Oakville, Iowa.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Why disaster recovery is a long, slow process

Sep 7, 2017
When the storm has passed, local agencies step in to help survivors rebuild.
Justin Davison pulls a trash bag full of flood-damaged items to a trash pile today as he helps a friend clean out his flooded home in Richwood, Texas.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Is tying Harvey disaster relief to the debt ceiling opportunistic?

Linking the two could make raising the debt limit more palatable to Congress, but it puts off a painful conversation about spending cuts.
 Rain from Hurricane Harvey falls on a Texas and U.S. flag on Aug. 26, 2017, in Texas City, Texas.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Crowdfunding is playing a larger role in disaster relief

Aug 31, 2017
With more options for giving, donors are urged to do their research.
Volunteers get a briefing on Monday at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, where the American Red Cross is housing victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images