New Study on Buyouts

From HSWire: With Coastal Waters Rising: First-Ever National Assessment of FEMA Buyouts. Some excerpts:

Now, a new study by a team involving University of Delaware researcher A. R. Siders is the first to examine nationwide data on FEMA’s buyout program. “Managed retreat through voluntary buyouts of flood-prone properties,” a study led by University of Miami’s Katharine J. Mach, was published today in Science Advances.

“It’s amazing to me that this program has existed for 30 years and no one has done this research,” said Siders, an assistant professor of Public Policy and Administration and Geography who is also affiliated with UD’s Disaster Research Center. “There are several great case studies of buyouts, but no one has looked at the whole program, the whole country, and that gives a different perspective.”

Hurricane Michael Recovery

Hurricane Michael recovery efforts point to the power of local generosity after overlooked disasters.

The aftermath of other big storms like Sandy and Katrina have made it clear that the recovery process takes years to complete, with the burden falling on local nonprofits once the sense of urgency outside the immediate area dissipates.

In the largely rural Florida counties where Hurricane Michael hit hard, a few nonprofits are leading the way with rebuilding efforts that bring local religious congregations, businesses, governments and independent organizations together. These new networks are coordinating efforts by national, regional and local organizations that bring their own expertise and resources.

Rethinking Recovery

From the NY Times:  After a Caribbean Hurricane, the Battle Is Where, or Even Whether, to Rebuild. When Hurricane Irma crushed Saint-Martin two years ago, the French state vowed swift assistance. Aid has flowed in, but a fight has followed about recovery plans, exposing racial and class tension. Two excerpts:

Storm Exposes Social, and Racial, Fault Lines. Hurricane Irma made clear that natural disasters not only obliterate structures and lives; they can also expose deep socioeconomic fault lines. In Saint-Martin, a long simmering discontent — loaded with racial and class tension — is on the verge of boiling over.

The Takeaway: As storms become more destructive, hurricane recovery is as much about rethinking as it is rebuilding.