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If the past is any indication, worsening threats from climate change, like rising seas in South Florida, could take a larger toll on the poor as people are forced to abandon their homes.

Trump Promises More Hurricane Relief For Florida Panhandle

May 9, 2019

President Donald Trump promised a swift infusion of federal aid to the Florida Panhandle seven months after devastating Hurricane Michael as he rallied supporters Wednesday for his re-election. 

Updated FEMA flood maps indicate risk zones in Pinellas County.
Pinellas County Government

Flooding is one of the most common and costly disasters during storms. Pinellas County is the latest area to have adjustments made to its flood map to better reflect the risk that some homeowners may face.

Coastal flood maps for Hillsborough County are being revised for the first time in 30 years.
Hillsborough County

Residents and businesses may see changes to their flood insurance rates as Hillsborough County coastal flood maps are updated for the first time in 30 years.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expediting money for debris removal in communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. DeSantis also wants the U.S. government to take on a bigger share of the recovery costs.

Two U.S. senators and three congressmen are asking federal officials to bring recreational vehicles and mobile homes to the Florida Panhandle to help residents who lost their homes to Hurricane Michael.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

After Hurricane Michael slammed through the Florida panhandle and into Georgia last week, President Trump has surveyed damage and met with officials about recovery efforts.

At a briefing alongside Florida Gov. Rick Scott at Eglin Air Force Base, Trump praised the work of emergency responders and law enforcement.

"The job they've done in Florida has been incredible," he said, and described Scott as a leader who "steps up in the biggest emergencies, the biggest problems, and he gets it done."

Updated on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday afternoon, at exactly 2:18 p.m. ET, million of Americans received a text headlined "Presidential Alert" on their cellphones.

But it wasn't exactly from President Trump. Rather, it was a test of a new nationwide warning system that a president could use in case of an armed attack by another country, a cyberattack or a widespread natural disaster.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is being faulted for inadequate oversight of debris removal operations after Hurricane Irma.

More than a year after Hurricane Irma, blue tarps still lay on roofs across South Florida. According to the Miami Herald, tens of thousands of homeowners across the state are still waiting for assistance to pay for damages to their houses and many have sued insurance companies.

As Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the Carolinas, in Washington the focus is how the Trump administration will respond to the storm's aftermath, and the inevitable property damage, power outages and potential loss of life.

The federal response is coordinated by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The agency's reputation suffered last year following its lagging response to Hurricane Maria. And while President Trump and FEMA officials insist they're ready this time, there have already been missteps that have some believing the agency's confidence may be misplaced.

Like many Puerto Ricans who fled to the mainland after Hurricane Maria, Jose Santiago has been scrambling to find a place to live. The federal vouchers that pay for his hotel room near the Orlando airport expire at checkout time Friday.

FEMA

Public schools across Florida opened their doors to residents last year during Hurricane Irma evacuations.

Pinellas County Schools were recently reimbursed more than $2.6 million by the federal governrment for the cost of food, fuel, staff, custodial supplies and floor coverings.

It's been almost a year since Hurricane Irma impacted Central Florida in mid-September - but the damage it did is still being calculated.

A $50 million clean-up project to remove debris from Hurricane Irma has begun in the Florida Keys where a crew lifted a sunken motorhome from a canal.

Puerto Rico's sole provider of electricity for 1.5 million residents says power has been returned to all homes that lost electricity from Hurricane Maria last September.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority identified a family near the mountainous, rural barrios of Real and Anón, in Ponce, a city and municipality in the island's south, as their final customers to receive returned power. PREPA tweeted their image.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it didn't handle housing vouchers for displaced residents of Puerto Rico any differently from those of displaced Texas and Florida residents after last year's hurricanes.

Pinellas County Flood Information

The Federal Emergency Management Administration has released a new preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) to reflect the flood risk of areas in Pinellas County with more accuracy.

Judge Extends FEMA Maria Emergency Aid And Sets A Hearing

Jul 23, 2018

A judge has again ordered an extension of FEMA’s temporary shelter program for displaced Puerto Ricans. The judge is giving families until midnight August 6 to stay in hotels. That means checkout would be on August 7.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico last September, Julio Ildefonso and his mother watched as their wooden home in Bayamón was blown away.

Spc. Samuel Keenan / FEMA

Displaced Puerto Rican families who were preparing to leave their hotels and motels on Thursday will get to stay a bit longer.

A judge has stopped FEMA from ending its housing assistance program for Puerto Rican families displaced by hurricane Maria. 

YUISA RIOS / FEMA

The federal program that has provided hotel vouchers to Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria will end on Saturday, and advocates are worried some Tampa Bay families will be left with nowhere to go.

FEMA’s Transitional Housing Program for Puerto Rican families displaced after Hurricanes Irma and Maria is slated to end June 30.

Lanesha Smith of FEMA says that means families can still apply for short-term rental assistance in the U.S,. but the majority of programs will be offered in Puerto Rico.

“Families with sick and elderly folks and child who need around the clock assistance or are disabled those are the families who are left behind. And that’s why we need funds released by the Governor to make short-term housing an option.”

A big discrepancy between Puerto Rico’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria and lives lost according to Harvard researchers has prompted U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) and other Democrats to call for new standards in counting storm deaths.

Legal Hotline For Hurricane Victims To Close

Jun 11, 2018

Floridians who were affected by Hurricane Irma and need legal advice have until the end of the week to call a free hotline.

NASA

This week on Florida Matters we talk to weather experts and hear stories about how communities across the state are preparing for the 2018 hurricane season.


In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the federal government signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Carnival Corporation to help house federal aid workers and first responders on the company's Fascination cruise ship in the United States Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico is working on building emergency management capabilities that would help the Caribbean island withstand future disasters, the head of the U.S. government agency that oversees disaster response said Wednesday, two days before the official start to the Atlantic hurricane season.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

With another hurricane season around the corner, there could be some changes to the way school districts and counties receive reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the cost of storm shelters.

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