natural disasters | KERA News

natural disasters

A sign prohibiting the carry of concealed firearms at the Coryell County Courthouse.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate approved a bill Friday that would allow handgun owners to carry their concealed firearms without a license for up to 48 hours when leaving an area due to a mandatory evacuation order.

Taylor Moran

Strong tornadoes and major floods often produce nonstop news coverage and an outpouring of charitable giving. It's the small storms, though, that tend to come and go without much notice.

That's when Denton Bible Church steps in.

Many residents in the southeast U.S. and along the Gulf Coast are already thinking about the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1. Last year brought two of the most destructive storms to ever hit the U.S.: Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

The Mississippi River is rising again as torrential rain falls across much of the Midwest. It's the latest in a series of storms that have flooded major cities and small communities along the length of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers on and off for more than a month.

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 5 to May 11, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encouraged Texans to begin or review their plans for enduring bad weather, flooding and, if necessary, evacuation.

Orlin Wagner / Associated Press

Update, April 18: The threat of large hail Wednesday emptied North Texas highways during rush hour and cancelled flights and classes, but most of the region was spared.

Debris covered a street corner in Rockport in December, more than three months after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the tiny town that sustained extensive damage.
Brandon Formby / The Texas Tribune

More than a year and a half after Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas, killing dozens, the state is still waiting on billions in federal recovery dollars. In the meantime, Texas lawmakers are looking to prepare the state — the most disaster-prone in the nation — for future storms.

Updated at 8:38 p.m. ET

Severe weather that moved across the southern U.S. on Saturday left at least eight people dead, injured dozens of others and ravaged numerous homes in its path.

Two children, ages 3 and 8, were killed in eastern Texas when a tree fell on the car in which they were traveling. Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches said in a statement that the children, who were in the car with their parents during the storm, were pronounced dead on the scene.

An hour south of Charlotte, N.C., two forks in the road beyond suburbia, a freshly constructed house sits in a wind tunnel waiting to be set on fire.

To the left of the house is a brick wall with a hole in the middle, made by a 2-by-4 propelled at 70 miles per hour.

In front of the house is a metal staircase five stories tall. At the top are the hail guns.

More than 100 fans begin to turn, slowly at first and then faster. The ember generators flicker on. The fire is about to begin.

The smell of death hangs in the air – a mix of decomposing flesh and what I can only describe as the odor of pine-scented bleach.

Flies hover over sections of the long tall grass and clusters of fallen rock in Chimanimani, the town in the mountains of Zimbabwe's eastern border with Mozambique. Cyclone Idai made landfall here late on the night of March 14 into the 15th.

An unknown number of residents of the town still lie buried beneath those boulders and in nearby valleys, under rocks from the landslide triggered by the cyclone.

What Makes People Heed A Weather Warning — Or Not?

Mar 22, 2019

"We have not had anything of this nature before."

It's something commonly heard in the aftermath of deadly disasters. It's what Alabama Sheriff Jay Jones said after a tornado killed 23 people in Lee County earlier this month. And it helps explain how residents got caught so off guard — the twister was the most violent to hit the area in recent memory, so for many, it was unprecedented.

From Texas Standard:

Last month, the Lubbock Avalanche Journal reported that though wildfire season typically begins in March, West Texas is seeing wildfires even earlier in the year. As a result, lots of communities have a plan of action for wildfires. But how many Texas communities perform a dry run before an emergency actually happens? So far, only one, the Comanche Trail neighborhood near Lake Travis, has done such a drill.

Chemical plants and oil refineries spewed millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and on the ground after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas a year ago. Some parts of the state did a better job than others in controlling those emissions and spills, according to a new report that tries to take lessons from Harvey to better prepare for the next storm.

Shutterstock

Sunday’s deadly attack on a nightclub in Orlando has kids across the country asking questions. And with school out for summer, that leaves a lot of pressure on parents to come up with answers. Here's a range of resources to talk about tragedy death and loss with children.

KERA News

In College Station, there’s a city that’s been hit by disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, even bombs. It’s called Disaster City. This 72-acre site is helping people, and robots, train for the next major disaster.

Parkland Hospital/Facebook

The medical director of disaster preparedness for Dallas County's public hospital system says staff members were disheartened to learn of a second nurse with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas contracting Ebola.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

The ferry that sank off the Korean peninsula is sending shock waves all the way to North Texas.

Minjung Kim got word of the ship sinking overnight, and immediately went to work, getting the latest details for her broadcast on Dallas Korean Radio, AM 730.

“Especially the fact that most of the passengers were young high school kids makes this tragedy even more painful,” Kim told KERA. “The whole nation of Korea is in shock.”

Caritas / CAFOD

One of the biggest challenges after a disaster the size of Super Typhoon Haiyan is coordinating the delivery of relief materials. The water, medicine and food can only help if it arrives where it’s needed, when it’s needed. That’s where technology comes into play, and a north Texas organization called Aidmatrix.

A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive / flickr.com

After a natural or manmade disaster, there are emergency responders to help with rescues, injuries and property damage. But a new study by psychiatrists at UT Southwestern Medical Center says disaster response should include mental health.

Jacqueline Fellows / KERA

The Small Business Administration is offering low-interest disaster loans to Texans affected by the recent severe weather.