The Hill

The deadly cost of failing infrastructure in historic Midwest floods

So far, historic floods in America’s Midwest have already claimed three lives with others still missing — although the worst may be yet to come.

In Nebraska alone, over 2,000 homes and 340 businesses have been destroyed, leading to over $1 billion in damages. In Iowa, more than 1,200 homes have been extensively damaged or destroyed, with more than $480 million estimated in damage to homes, $300 million to businesses and $214 million to agriculture.

Child migrant deaths: 4 areas Congress should investigate

With the deaths of two migrant children from Guatemala last month and another tear-gassing of crowds that included children just across the Southern U.S. border on New Year’s Day, nobody should argue against a thorough investigation of the circumstances that continue to place minors in highly dangerous situations. The fact that these “circumstances” are under the control of U.S. government agents justifies — even compels — us to make sure that protocols for managing an extraordinary immigration crisis do not endanger the lives of anyone, especially young children. 

As Hurricane Michael moves inland, public data can help the most vulnerable

As Hurricane Michael moves further inland, bringing torrential rains and high winds with it, those who were most vulnerable before the storm are going to need the most assistance in its aftermath. This is a mantra that is relevant to hurricanes and other disasters. This is also well-described in research focusing on disproportional impact and recovery of vulnerable populations. But to really have that principle influence and improve disaster planning and response, we need a richer understanding of these vulnerabilities and better tools to incorporate them into the planning process.

Still in Limbo a Year After Harvey and Maria

Hurricane Lane has just struck Hawaii bringing record rainfall and devastation to the Island. For people who live along the U.S. Eastern seaboard, near the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere in the Caribbean, being reminded that we are still less than halfway through the 2018 hurricane season must be unsettling, to say the least.

Five reasons not to underestimate Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast as a major hurricane, there is also a collective sigh of relief among many that the route of the storm avoided areas like Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico that are still recovering from the 2017 hurricane season. However, Hurricane Florence is still a monster of storm, the likes of which haven’t been seen in the Carolinas and Virginia for decades, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Here are five reasons why Florence, and any major hurricane, should not be underestimated…

Recovery after Harvey and Maria

Hurricane Lane has just struck Hawaii bringing record rainfall and devastation to the Island. For people who live along the U.S. Eastern seaboard, near the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere in the Caribbean, being reminded that we are still less than halfway through the 2018 hurricane season must be unsettling, to say the least.

To make matters worse, recovery from last year’s season of storms — which included Hurricanes Harvey Irma and Maria — is sluggish, incomplete and lacking a cohesive vision or timeline for completion.

Domestic terror and the race for the White House

Over the past year we have seen acts of terror perpetrated by individuals in Orlando and San Bernardino inspired by ISIS. We have also seen more coordinated teams of attackers in Brussels, Paris and elsewhere. These attacks strike to the heart of communities, and have rekindled concerns among the American public about the threat of terrorism. The timing of the latest attacks is also affecting the intensifying U.S. presidential race. 

National investment, leadership needed for school preparedness

Recently the GAO released a report examining the state of emergency preparedness in k-12 schools. The conclusions in this report are alarming, as it uncovers a lack of strategic coordination among federal agencies for preparing schools for emergencies. It also finds a lack of clear leadership at the federal level for coordinating these activities, and schools are left having to choose between preparedness and core educational activities. 

Zika virus: Why emergency funding is necessary, and why it shouldn’t be

Earlier this month the president outlined a request for $1.8 billion to prepare for and respond to the emergence of Zika virus at home and abroad. This request includes funding for vaccine development, targeted efforts to control the mosquito populations, the development of training and communications programs, and efforts to contain its spread internationally. This request should be funded. Not because it is the best way to combat emerging infectious diseases, but because we have painted ourselves into a corner with shortsighted preparedness investments, and this is the only option available to reduce further harm.