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Natural Disasters

Strategizing Against the Flame: What’s Next for California’s Wildfires?

The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive on record in California, destroying thousands of structures. Gov. Gavin Newsom created a strike force to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the destabilizing...

Determining Climate Responsibility: Government Liability for Hurricane Katrina?

In St. Bernard Parish Government v. United States, Louisiana property owners argued that the U.S. government was liable under takings law for flood damage to their properties caused by Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes....

Superstorm Sandy at Five: Lessons on Law as Catalyst and Obstacle to Long-Term Recovery Following Catastrophic Disasters

Nine of the 10 costliest U.S. hurricanes on record have ravaged the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the first two decades of the 21st century, yet federal, state, and local governments continue to struggle with devising an efficient and...

Managing Property Buyouts at the Local Level: Seeking Benefits and Limiting Harms

Efforts to conduct buyouts of at-risk properties are an increasingly popular resilience tool, especially in response to massive flooding losses in recent years and the financial predicament of the National Flood Insurance Program. Calls...

Floodplain Buyouts: How Local Governments Can Maximize Community Benefits, Habitat Connectivity, and Resilience

Since 1993, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has funded the acquisition of over 37,000 flood-damaged properties. On these purchased properties, existing structures must be removed and the land dedicated to open space, recreational...

A Disaster by Any Other Name: Improving Assistance to States and Individuals During Long-Term Disasters

Disasters and emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are man-made while others are a result of natural events. The federal government has a system in place under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance...

Hurricanes, Oil Spills, and Discrimination, Oh My: The Story of the Mississippi Cottage

Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi Governor’s Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal collaborated with the Congress for the New Urbanism to generate rebuilding proposals for the...