Author(s): Jesse Roman. Published on November 1, 2017.

Storm Season

Starting the last week of August, the United States endured three major hurricanes in consecutive weeks, leaving behind billions of dollars in destruction, thousands of homeless families, and an ongoing humanitarian crisis. The inconvenient truth is, no place is immune to the risks posed by the planet’s natural forces.

Building more resilient communities is at the heart of NFPA’s ongoing mission, and that of many of its stakeholders: first responders, facility designers and managers, engineers, emergency management officials. We prepare for the worst. We create systems, codes, and procedures to withstand and lessen the blow. And once an incident has occurred, we are ready to move swiftly to recover and emerge stronger. Every new incident is a chance to learn and improve.

On the following pages are the real-life stories of the resilience process in action, told by the people on the front lines in Houston, Orlando, San Juan, and Miami. The stories relate their experiences, what went right, what didn’t, and what they learned. The stories highlight the questions that need to be addressed as we continue to build stronger, safer communities.

JESSE ROMAN is associate editor for NFPA Journal. Top Photograph: AP/Wide World

Variety of photos pertaining to hurricanes including workers cleaning debris, trees being blown, inspectors looking at wreckage

Families walk through flooded streets in Puerto Rico

Drone photo of a neighborhood completely flooded

Rescuers help a man from the flooding of Hurricane Harvey

Aerial shot of an oil worker at a refinery storage facility near Houston following Hurricane Harvey

Aerial photo of the city of Houston


Man drives boat away from flooded home

Tweet asking for someone to help rescue a family with children, grandparents and dogs

Men walk through flooded neighborhood with boat
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