Articles by Leslie Kaufman

Tracking Tool Spotlights Repetitive Flood Loss Homes Receiving U.S. Taxpayer Funds

Passaic County in New Jersey is not in the hurricane belt nor is it on the banks of a major river, and yet 810 properties there received $170 million of taxpayer money through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since …

Plastic Pollution in Oceans Expected to Triple by 2040

The annual flow of plastics into our oceans is on a trajectory to triple over the next 20 years, which could add up to 110 pounds of plastic trash for every meter of coastline worldwide, a new report finds. That …

Government-Produced Flood Maps May Have Underestimated Properties at Risk

First Street Foundation, a nonprofit agency, is making accurate climate change-adjusted flood scores available for every property in the U.S. today. There are government-produced maps showing 8.7 million homes and properties at significant flood risk—and it turns out those may …

How to Manage Two Disasters at Same Time

On March 5, Tennessee governor Bill Lee announced the state’s first confirmed case of Covid-19. Three weeks later on Easter Sunday, tornadoes touched down outside of Chattanooga, killing four people and flattening 2,000 structures. Since the start of the pandemic, …

FEMA Tackles COVID-19 While Also Facing Past Disasters, Spring Flood Season

It wasn’t until Wednesday, five days after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it was “leading the federal coordination” to the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. While the disaster-response agency is better …

How Draining the Reservoir Can Help Mitigate Flooding

Persistent rains have been pounding the Southeast, and a week ago, the Pearl River in Jackson, Mississippi, spilled over its banks, submerging a dozen city blocks in several feet of water. The river had crested at 36.7 feet—its third-highest level …