Superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast six months ago, and, as with other natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was there from day one, finding people temporary shelter and later supporting rebuilding efforts.
FEMA also has a lesser-known role. It oversees the creation of flood maps, which model the risk of flooding in different areas during storms. These maps are also used to set building codes and flood insurance rates. In New York and New Jersey, FEMA is updating those maps, and so far many homeowners don't like what they are seeing.
When Superstorm Sandy inundated lower Manhattan last year, thousands of lab animals drowned and many scientists lost months or even years of work. One of those scientists is Gordon Fishell, a brain researcher at New York University.
Just hours before Sandy reached New York, Fishell says, he began to worry that animals housed in a basement below his lab were in danger. "I realized Hurricane Sandy and high tide were going to coincide at Battery Park, which is right where my lab is," he says.
"Sandy has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names by the World Meteorological Organization's hurricane committee because of the extreme impacts it caused from Jamaica and Cuba to the Mid-Atlantic United States in October 2012," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration writes.