disaster relief

  Natural disasters don't matter for the reasons we think they do. They generally don't kill a huge number of people. Most years more people kill themselves than are killed by Nature's tantrums. And using standard measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) it is difficult to show that disasters significantly interrupt the economy.

It's what happens after the disasters that really matters-when the media has lost interest and the last volunteer has handed out a final blanket, and people are left to repair their lives. What happens is a stark expression of how unjustly unequal our world has become. The elite make out well-whether they belong to an open market capitalist democracy or a closed authoritarian socialist state.

In The Disaster Profiteers, John Mutter argues that when no one is looking, disasters become a means by which the elite prosper at the expense of the poor.

  Congressman Chris Gibson of New York’s 19th District was still active military when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast 10 years ago.

In today’s Congressional Corner he speaks with Alan Chartock hurricane preparedness and severe weather recovery.

  After seven years of service as the president of Tulane University, Scott Cowen watched the devastation of his beloved New Orleans at the hands of Hurricane Katrina.

When federal, state, and city officials couldn't find their way to decisive action, Cowen, known for his gutsy leadership, quickly partnered with a coalition of civic, business, and nonprofit leaders looking to work around the old institutions to revitalize and transform New Orleans.

NY state plans for $1.7 billion in Sandy funds

Mar 13, 2013
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region

New York  Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a plan for the use of $1.7 billion in federal storm-damage funds.

Most of the money is going to homeowners and businesses hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. But some will be used for damage from the storms Irene and Lee.

The money will be used around the state, including on Long Island. The exception is New York City, which has a separate allocation.

Nearly $260 million will be used to reduce the risk of future damage. Over $170 million will cover voluntary buyouts to residents in flood areas.

Flickr / Doug Kerr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — With New York officials now proposing to spend $400 million to buy and demolish downstate homes damaged by October's Superstorm Sandy, they say 646 buyout applications have been federally approved for $55 million in a buyout program for upstate properties damaged in 2011 by the back-to-back storms Irene and Lee.

Four more Hudson Valley counties have been added to the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Sandy. The declaration now offers Individual Assistance to residents of Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties.

Rockland and Westchester counties were approved to receive the assistance days ago along with New York metropolitan area counties. Those two counties are also eligible for Public Assistance aid.

It’s been one year since Tropical Storm Irene came up the coast and into the northeast, leaving behind damage that most people and most communities had never witnessed before. One year later some the scars remain, but people have been slowly putting back their lives and towns. Dutchess County, in New York's Hudson Valley was hit hard by the wind, the rain and the flooding. Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields about how the county has fared one year later.