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NASA, FEMA Simulated Asteroid Strike on Los Angeles

In their scenario, city had 4-year warning

(Newser) - A 330-foot asteroid on a collision course with downtown Los Angeles. Four years to try to stop it—or carry out mass evacuations ahead of certain devastation. That's not the plot of an unoriginal new movie, but the scenario behind a recent NASA-FEMA exercise, the New York Times reports.... More »

Scope of Louisiana's '1,000-Year Rain' Is Massive

Risk not over yet as search for bodies continues

(Newser) - The words "unprecedented" and "catastrophic" keep being used to describe Louisiana's flooding, and the danger isn't over yet. Though floodwaters are receding in some areas, residents in the southern part of the state face danger as water moves downstream toward the Gulf, reports NBC News . Some... More »

'Brownie': Katrina Was Not My Fault

Former FEMA chief defends his hurricane work

(Newser) - “And Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job." Former FEMA chief Michael Brown writes in Politico that he is still haunted by those words uttered by George W. Bush during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the lengthy essay, Brown seeks to set the record straight as he... More »

FEMA Wants Homeowners to Repay $5.8M in Sandy Aid

Overpayments likely a result of bureaucratic mistakes, not fraud

(Newser) - After Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast nearly two years ago, the federal government quickly sent out $1.4 billion in emergency disaster aid to the hurricane's victims. Now, thousands of people might have to pay back their share. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is scrutinizing about 4,500... More »

As Storm Barrels Toward Gulf Coast, FEMA Recalls Furloughed Workers

Tropical Storm Karen is year's first cyclone

(Newser) - Tropical Storm Karen is barreling toward the US , and that means a return to work for some FEMA employees. The furloughed workers have been called back with the cyclone due to hit the coast between Louisiana and Florida. Thanks to the shutdown, however, some weather satellite images "may not... More »

FEMA's Flood Maps Are Way Out of Date

ProPublica: Digital maps often based on data collected decades ago

(Newser) - FEMA is constantly putting out new flood maps for different parts of the country, which seems like a good thing. Except for this: A ProPublica investigation finds that the maps are often based on outdated information, resulting in huge headaches for homeowners whose insurance premiums are based on them. Countless... More »

Obama to US: Donate to Oklahoma

As he offers moral, monetary support

(Newser) - President Barack Obama visited tornado-devastated Moore, Oklahoma, today, consoling people staggered by the loss of life and property and promising that the government will be behind them "every step of the way." He offered moral and monetary support in the wake of the monstrous EF5 tornado that killed... More »

Oklahoma's Fallin: I Need to Cut Red Tape

Plus, GOP did not like Obama's counterterror speech

(Newser) - With President Obama headed for her tornado-ravaged state, Okla. Gov. Mary Fallin told CNN's State of the Union today that while, "so far, we have had a great response" from the feds, she's also worried about the grinding wheels of bureaucracy in the days ahead. "What... More »

Obama Signs Sandy Relief Bill

$9.7B headed to pay flood insurance claims

(Newser) - It's back to work for President Obama, who returned to Washington from vacation today to sign into law a bill that would throw $9.7 billion at flood insurance claims related to Superstorm Sandy, as well as increase FEMA's borrowing authority. FEMA had said it was running out... More »

112th Congress Punts on Sandy Aid Bill

Boehner sparks outrage by tabling vote on $60.4B in FEMA aid

(Newser) - The 112th Congress may have squeaked through a deal on the fiscal cliff , but shortly afterward John Boehner announced that it won't be voting on a $60.4 billion FEMA aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy, reports USA Today . Though the Senate passed the bill and the House... More »

NYC Spends $1M on Empty Hotel Rooms Post-Sandy

City's strategy for housing homeless showing 'cracks,' reports WSJ

(Newser) - New York City's attempts at housing the more than 1,000 people who still remain homeless following Hurricane Sandy aren't exactly praised in today's Wall Street Journal , which paints a picture of vacant hotel rooms and cramped accommodations. It was able to access documents that showed the... More »

Cops: Man Sexually Assaults FEMA Inspector

During a check of his home for damage

(Newser) - A Staten Island man was arrested yesterday after allegedly sexually assaulting a FEMA inspector who came to check his home for storm damage. The inspector, 49, arrived at Robert Langshultz's door Monday afternoon, the New York Post reports. No sooner had she knocked than Langshultz, 53, allegedly pounced, hurling... More »

Chris Christie: Treat Us Like Katrina Victims

Governor makes pitch for more federal aid

(Newser) - New York and New Jersey are looking for federal aid in their ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and they're not being modest in their requests. "We expect to be treated in exactly the same way that the victims of Katrina were treated," Chris Christie said—a statement... More »

'FEMA Center Closed Due to Weather'

New York sites shut down ahead of storm: DNA Info

(Newser) - DNA Info today spotted signs sure to warm the cockles of New Yorkers' hearts: "FEMA center closed due to weather," they read. The signs were taped up at disaster recovery centers in the city, meaning that residents who trekked there for hurricane relief were out of luck... More »

Obama Really Did a 'Heckuva Job' on Sandy

FEMA would fail once again under Romney: Paul Krugman

(Newser) - Some on the right might have been hoping that Sandy would be President Obama's Katrina, but Paul Krugman is having none of it: Instead, the president's handling of the superstorm has won him much well-deserved praise and even a bump in the polls, he writes in the New ... More »

New FEMA Head's Little Trick: Counting Waffle Houses

Craig Fugate brings years of know-how to disaster recovery

(Newser) - Obama administration officials aren't exactly known for wearing cowboy boots and talking about Waffle Houses. But Craig Fugate, current head of FEMA, brings a down-to-earth attitude to the post he's held since 2009, the New York Times reports. Supported by Democrats and Republicans alike, Fugate brings a philosophy... More »

FEMA Promises 400 Generators, But Few Up and Running

Chief hopes it will be a different story today

(Newser) - If FEMA was hoping its reaction to Sandy would be good for its Katrina-battered reputation, this story out of the Wall Street Journal is a likely blow for the agency. The Journal reports on FEMA's pre-Sandy announcement that it had 400 industrial-size generators at the ready, each able to... More »

Sandy Proves Romney Was Wrong to Diss FEMA

Eugene Robinson recalls small-government point during debate

(Newser) - There's something of a Sandy-related brouhaha swirling around comments Mitt Romney made in the ancient days of 2011: Seems that when asked during a Republican debate about disaster relief, Romney sounded like he wanted to gut FEMA, saying he'd shift responsibility for disaster management to the states—or... More »

Obama 'Not Worried' About Sandy's Effect on Election

But 'millions of people' will be affected

(Newser) - President Obama is assuring Americans that there has been "extraordinarily close coordination" between state, local, and federal officials in the response to Hurricane Sandy, he said in a press conference this afternoon. But "millions of people are going to be affected," he cautioned. "The most important... More »

Obama Declares Emergency in Louisiana

New Orleans prepares to ride out Isaac

(Newser) - President Obama declared a state of emergency in Louisiana as Tropical Storm Isaac neared the Gulf Coast, where it's expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane as early as tonight. The declaration makes federal funding available for storm-related emergency activities, reports AP . The storm is following Hurricane... More »

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