Back to top

Hurricane Recovery

A diver placing a piece of coral on the sea floor.
Coral relocation operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Maria in 2017. Image credit: NOAA.

OR&R also provides disaster support to the FEMA-led Recovery Support Function Leadership Group, contributing science-based recommendations for addressing coastal and economic issues within national recovery efforts.

In the wake of a hurricane, OR&R coordinates with leadership from federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments following a disaster to protect natural and cultural resources, ensure economic recovery, and enhance community planning and capacity building. Post-disaster, OR&R works to identify information and tools to help inform recovery efforts, particularly when FEMA issues a mission assignment that activates a NOAA response to a disaster in accordance with the Stafford Act. OR&R may also collect information to understand natural resource impacts from spills in affected areas, and work to assess and restore resources injured by such spills. 

One of the many impacts of hurricanes is the marine debris that is caused or displaced by the storm. OR&R works with communities and stakeholders to survey, remove, and dispose of marine debris caused by hurricanes, as directed by supplemental appropriations.

After the storm has passed, OR&R assesses the impacts on habitats and coastal communities when hurricanes cause oil spills and other pollution. Using this assessment, OR&R helps reach settlements that fund restoration for damaged natural resources.

Last updated Thursday, July 28, 2022 2:29pm PDT