FEMA

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The Trump administration's decision to shift more than $100 million of federal disaster aid to help pay for more detention beds for migrants has set off an outcry just as Florida is bracing for Hurricane Dorian.

AP

Floridians are bracing for a major hurricane just as funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is being directed away from disaster relief and to the southern border of the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security announced this week it will move $155 million dollars from FEMA to border security. 

Governor Ron DeSantis said on Thursday he doesn’t think the move will affect any money needed after Hurricane Dorian and that he is “confident it’s not going to affect Florida in a negative way.”

In Puerto Rico, nearly two years after hurricane Maria, the need for safe, affordable housing is still a massive challenge. "We have more than a half million people affected. And we have to build, minimum, 75,000 homes, " says Astrid Diaz, a well-known architect in Puerto Rico. She was part of a FEMA team that assessed the island's infrastructure after the storm.

Diaz often appears on television wearing her trademark yellow hardhat, promoting her "Casa Segura-Safe Homes" campaign.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Four Keys cities and Monroe County have sent FEMA bills for more than $91 million from Hurricane Irma. A year and a half after the storm, they have received less than 12 percent of the money.

If they had known, they never would have bought the house on Bayou Glen Road. Sure, it was a beautiful lot, tucked in a bend of the creek, backyard woodsy and wild, the neighbors friendly and the street quiet. A little piece of nature just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. It was exactly what John and Heather Papadopoulos — recently married, hoping to start a family — were looking for in 2007. They didn't think much about the creek that ran along their yard, aside from appreciating the birds it attracted to the neighborhood.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

As South Florida communities search for ways to combat sea level rise, efforts to improve flood drainage in the town of Jupiter have saved residents about $500,000 in flood insurance costs over the past year, according to the town’s utility services manager.

The National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System reduces flood insurance premiums in municipalities across the country that undertake floodplain management activities.

Hurricane Michael has damaged and destroyed thousands of homes and apartments in the panhandle and what’s left isn’t enough to meet the demand. Now FEMA is offering up its “FEMA Trailers” to help address the need.

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.

In Mexico Beach, Fla., Lance Erwin is one of the lucky ones. His house is still standing. He stayed in his home during Hurricane Michael, several blocks from the beach, in a part of his house that he calls his "safe room."

"The garage door was shaking," he says. "I knew the roof was gone at that point because everything was shaking. I thought, 'Just hang in there.' I had faith everything was going to be OK."

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

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.

Fires, like all natural disasters, disproportionately affect those who are low income. They often lack insurance and resources to rebuild or move elsewhere. The effects on families and communities can be long-lasting.

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.

There's been a lot of criticism on social media about money being diverted a few weeks ago from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The amount? About $10 million.

The World fact-checked this and located the congressional document to prove it.

Pages