natural disaster

A study published Monday suggests Americans are less afraid of hurricanes with female names.

This is a real study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — not The Onion.

Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State looked at deaths caused by hurricanes between 1950 — when storms were first named — and 2012.

State of Connecticut

Hurricane season has just begun, and insurers are gearing up to educate their customers on preparing for the storms ahead.


The National Climate Assessment released earlier this month paints a bleak picture of the effects of climate change on not only the world - but right here in the northeast. “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the report says.

We’re teaming up with The Colin McEnroe Show for a big discussion on climate change and how we’re adapting to a changing world.

Updated at 10:20 p.m. ET.:

Authorities in San Diego County ordered additional evacuations Thursday afternoon as a wildfire began "making an extreme run," as one state fire captain said.

The Associated Press is reporting that a badly burned body found in a transient camp in Carlsbad is the first reported fatality from the wildfires. The city says it had no information about person who died.

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts is soliciting bids from organizations to do workforce training in poor neighborhoods hit by the tornado three years ago.

Deadly tornadoes have wreaked havoc in the South, leveling homes and claiming at least 28 lives in the past three days. And meteorologists say the threat of more tornadoes won't ease up till Wednesday.

Getting to a safe place is the best thing that people can do to protect themselves and their families. That can mean a specially constructed concrete safe room, a basement, or just a ditch if you're caught outdoors.

This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. ET.

A second day of tornadoes has caused devastation in the South, killing more than a dozen people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Some 50 twisters were reported in the region in a 24-hour period from Monday into Tuesday, according to meteorologists.

This post was updated at 1:53 p.m. ET

Emergency officials were searching Monday for survivors after tornadoes tore through parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma overnight, killing at least 14 people and leveling entire neighborhoods.

"We don't have a count on injuries or missing. We're trying to get a handle on the missing part," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said at a news conference Monday. "Just looking at the damage, this may be one of the strongest we have seen."

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

An earthquake in Southern California Monday morning rattled the usual calm demeanor of the live, on-air anchors at KTLA-TV. Fortunately, it doesn't look as though there's been much damage, and the anchors knew what to do: get under the desk. 

Jan Ellen Spiegel

The state is seeking public comment on its latest plan for recovery from Superstorm Sandy. Connecticut is due for a second round of disaster funding from the federal government as it distributes aid to the communities worst affected.

Officials have scheduled an announcement Monday of a final settlement with FEMA for the tornado that devastated part of Springfield, Massachusetts two-and-a-half years ago

Springfield recently received final approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the claims filed from the June 1,2011 tornado.  Mayor Domenic Sarno had vowed to be aggressive in pursuing reimbursements for debris removal and other emergency expenses born by the city

The nation's capital is not exactly a beach town. But the cherry-tree-lined Tidal Basin, fed by the Potomac River, laps at the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. And, especially since Superstorm Sandy, officials in Washington have a clear idea of what would happen in a worst-case storm scenario.

"The water would go across the World War II memorial, come up 17th Street," says Tony Vidal of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "And there are actually three spots where the water would come up where we don't have ... a closure structure right now."

Tom Turley / AmeriCares

Stamford-based AmeriCares said it has shipped over $3 million in medical aid to the Philippines, with more to come. 

Lots of people in and around Washington, Ill., are referring to the areas devastated by Sunday's tornado as looking like a war zone.

David Casler is among them.

"Right here, right now, if you look around this street, this is a war zone, only no one's shooting at us," he says.

Casler knows the difference. He served as a Marine in Iraq in 2004 and was subsequently hit by a roadside bomb while working there as a security contractor, suffering a brain injury.

Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant

Typhoon Haiyan reportedly killed more than 4,000 people and affected millions more when it struck the Philippines nearly two weeks ago. Among those touched by the storm were Jack and Fe Shanahan, a Connecticut couple with a home in one of the heavily affected towns.

Matthew McDermott / Americares

Nearly two weeks ago Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps the strongest storm on record, ravaged the Philippines. Survivors in the hardest-hit parts of that island nation are still in need of the most basic supplies, like food, water and shelter. On Wednesday, Philippine officials estimated the death toll from the storm at 4,000.

Stamford, Connecticut-based AmeriCares has been in the Philippines since the day after the typhoon, delivering medical supplies, and helping to rebuild hospitals.

Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

The state is opening two new disaster assistance centers on Wednesday to help residents who suffered losses during Superstorm Sandy. One is a mobile center, serving Middlesex County. The other will be located at the Groton senior center. 

Emergency aid workers are rushing this week to get food aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines — just the latest reminder of how vulnerable the food supply can be when disaster hits.

The physical damage from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless.

Soon, though, people will start to rebuild, as they have after similar natural disasters.

How they do it, and where, is increasingly important in places like the Philippines. The island nation lies in a sort of "typhoon alley," and with climate change and rising sea levels, there are more storms in store.

The Philippine-American Association of Connecticut

Filipino organizations in Connecticut are working hard to help their home country recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census report, there are 16,402 Filipinos living in Connecticut. In the hours after the storm hit, they anxiously waited for word on whether their loved ones survived. "I have a brother that's in Cebu, and they are okay," said Cecilia Rogayan, president of the Philippine-American Association of Connecticut

Erik DeCastro / Reuters

Stamford-based Americares has sent a relief team to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization said days before the typhoon reached landfall, Americares stockpiled relief supplies in the Philippines in anticipation. 

Aid agencies are scrambling to try to get water and food to people in the Philippines who've been left homeless or injured by Typhoon Haiyan.

But reaching some of the areas ravaged by the intense storm is proving difficult. Even when aid can make it onto the islands, it's still not clear what supplies are needed the most.

(Click here for related updates.)

The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week's powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn't getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.

In the two years since a tornado tore through Springfield, Massachusetts a volunteer effort has spearheaded the planting of thousands of new trees.  The work is being done as the U.S. Forest Service conducts a study on the environmental impacts from the loss of the urban tree canopy.

More than 4,400 new trees have been planted in Springfield in the last two years in an effort to restore, largely for later generations, the shade trees that lined streets and filled public parks prior to the June 1, 2011 tornado.

Connecticut National Guard

Congress has passed a bill to ensure active duty military are paid during the federal government shutdown, but what about the National Guard? There are direct impacts on the families of 5,000 Connecticut guard members who respond to both federal and state missions.

A fire that started in an ice cream shop is spreading elsewhere along New Jersey's famous boardwalk in Seaside Park.

News video shows the boardwalk — located in an area that had just been rebuilt after it was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy nearly a year ago — clouded by thick smoke.

Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd tells The Star-Ledger the fire spread to adjacent structures around 2:30 p.m.

Seeking the Calm After the Storm

Jul 1, 2013
Paul Pfeffer

It has been a long time since Michael Gordon had fished at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

“See that building right there,” he said looking back to what was his house until “I got kicked out …fire department.”

Back then he sought snappers, bluefish and stripers

Today he came to “Kind of decompress a little bit, I should be down here more often”

The people and the shoreline…still reconnecting eight months after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

For the CPBN Media Lab, reporting from Milford, I’m Paul Pfeffer

As the region continues to recover in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, environmental advocates are pushing for rebuilding in a smarter way to protect against future storms. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, they gathered last week in a summit to discuss the future of Long Island Sound.

Sujata Srinivasan

State officials have warned businesses and municipalities to clear roofs of snow loads to prevent possible collapse from the weight. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.


Heavy rain on Monday in addition to three feet of snow over the weekend, is putting quite a bit of load on rooftops. Gov. Dannel Malloy at a press conference in Branford: