Disaster Law

The Hurricane Outlook

The journalists are sure about the 2018 hurricane season. The scientists? Not so much.

I’m actually in Puerto Rico today for a conference on the situation here after Hurricane Maria. Since hurricanes are on my mind, I wondered what the forecast for this year looks like. As it turns out, the headlines give significantly different takes on what to expect. Here is a sample of news stories, all issued …

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Hurricane Recovery in Texas

It’s been eight months. What’s happened since the storm?

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the U.S. on August 25, 2017. That probably seems like ancient history to many Americans who live outside the area. The storm has certainly dropped out of the national media. It’s not easy to find information about how storm recovery is proceeding. But here’s where I could find. Let’s start …

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Disaster Law and Hurricane Harvey

This is the first in what will be a series of posts about disaster law.

As I write, Hurricane Harvey continues to hammer Texas, with rains and flooding expected to last for days. Because the storm is so slow moving, it may dump up to several feet of rain in some locations. For the same reason, it’s future trajectory is unclear, so we can’t even be sure of what areas …

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Disaster Law and Policy

A new textbook on the emerging field of Disaster Law.

I’m delighted to announce the publication of the third edition of Disaster Law and Policy. Although I might not normally use this blog to promote a new book, I’d like to think in this case this is more than just shameless self-promotion.  That’s for two reasons: the lion’s share of the credit for the improvements …

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In Harm’s Way

Millions of people are in the path of rising seas. The time for action is now.

The NY Times has run a series of articles in the past few days dealing with disaster issues.  Taken together, they highlight the urgency of government action to protect populations in harm’s way. One article dealt generally with the threat posed by sea level rise. Miami is something of a poster-child for these problems, given its …

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New Symposium on Disaster Law

The Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum has just published a great symposium on disaster law.  The authors include some leading lights in environmental law, and for good reason, since disaster issues and environmental law are closely related.  Here are links to all of the individual articles: Articles Introduction: Legal Scholarship, the Disaster Cycle, and …

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The Shape of Things to Come

[In line with Jonathan’s graphics theme.]

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“United We Stand”: National Unity in the Face of Disaster

During the Republican primaries, Governor Romney proposed curtailing or even eliminating the federal role in disaster response, leaving the response efforts to the states or the private sector.  Why does this seem viscerally wrong to so many people today (enough so that Romney first refused to answer any questions about it and then abandoned it …

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A Resource on Disaster Law Issues

As the storm slowly passes through, there will inevitably be questions about a host of issues: the scope of FEMA’s role, the requirements of the Stafford Act, the operation of flood insurance, how private insurance might or might not apply, and so forth.  The Berkeley Law School Library has established a great website with copies …

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Romney Versus Disaster Assistance

In assessing Romney’s argument that disaster response should be a state or private responsibility, we should consider his record in Massachusetts. In his last year as governor, Romney refused to provide state assistance when major floods hit western Massachusetts., even though the state government had ample funds.  Romney had already begun to run for President, …

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