Latest Disaster planning and response News

California learns from Florida in wildfire evacuations

Apr. 25, 2019 11:15 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — With Hurricane Michael strengthening as it took aim at Florida's Panhandle, Mark Bowen and his employees watched the live footage through tears. They weren't looking at increasingly dire storm forecasts last October. They were watching cameras trained on rural Bay County's three main...

Many California towns lack wildfire evacuation plans

Apr. 25, 2019 10:41 AM EDT

PARADISE, California (AP) — Wildfire surrounded Darrel Wilken and the three hospital patients in his car. But instead of evacuating Paradise, they were stuck in traffic along with thousands of others. Cars burned in front of them. Trees, homes and buildings exploded into flames as the gusting firestorm...

Some California towns at risk of fire have few escape routes

Apr. 25, 2019 10:13 AM EDT

PARADISE, California (AP) — Californians got a deadly wakeup call when more than 27,000 Paradise residents trying to escape the Camp Fire got caught in a nightmare traffic jam. The 2018 catastrophe illuminated the grim reality that road systems throughout the state are not designed to handle a sudden...

Sheltering in place during a wildfire a dicey strategy

Apr. 25, 2019 6:14 AM EDT

REDDING, California (AP) — For Californians who might have to escape wildfire again this year, the options are perilous. Many live in?communities that don't have well-thought-out?public evacuation plans and?lack the road?capacity that's needed to get everyone out fast.? Does this mean people should just...

Tahoe residents oppose new homes in path of wildfire danger

Apr. 25, 2019 6:14 AM EDT

RENO, Nevada (AP) — During her career as a flight attendant, Laura Haneveld had a checklist to remind her what to do in the event of a fire. "The most important thing on an airplane is fire, whether you are on the ground or whether you are up in the air," Haneveld said. "I'm very attuned to how quickly...

How we evaluated California's wildfire evacuation routes

Apr. 25, 2019 6:12 AM EDT

REDDING, California (AP) — How many roads are enough to get out? That's the question we wondered after watching tragedy unfold in Paradise, California, last year during the Camp Fire. Paradise had five two-lane roads and one four-lane road leading out of town. But the fire forced officials to close three...

Woman, 2 children die in North Texas flash flood

Apr. 24, 2019 10:26 PM EDT

DALLAS (AP) — A woman and her two young children died Wednesday when the family car was caught in rushing flash flood waters in the West Texas rolling plains. The incident happened about 6 a.m. Wednesday at what's usually a small creek just outside Dublin, Texas, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest...

Puerto Rico gov slams Trump, seeks swifter storm recovery

Apr. 24, 2019 10:00 PM EDT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor pledged on Wednesday to lift the U.S. territory from a deep recession by creating more jobs, reversing a migration exodus and implementing a range of incentives as the island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria. During a nearly two-hour state of the...

California utility seeks higher rates for wildfire safety

Apr. 22, 2019 11:38 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. is asking state regulators for another increase in rates and profits, saying it's needed for wildfire safety and to attract investment as the utility goes through bankruptcy. The Sacramento Bee reports Monday that the request and...

Boy Scout ranch focuses on wildfire recovery as season nears

Apr. 20, 2019 11:17 AM EDT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Tucked away in the foothills of the southern Rockies, the Philmont Scout Ranch has become a holy grail, its stretches of untamed wilderness and challenging backcountry treks drawing more than 1 million Boy Scouts and other adventurers from across the United States over the past 80...