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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.

In the wake of a hurricane, OR&R serves as NOAA’s liaison when interagency recovery support functions are activated, working to link NOAA scientific and technical expertise, resources, and services with disaster operational needs and community recovery priorities. NOAA recovery support is generally focused in three key functional areas: natural and cultural resources, economic recovery, and community planning and capacity building.

Post-disaster, OR&R works to identify information and tools that help inform recovery efforts, particularly when FEMA issues a mission assignment, in accordance with the Stafford Act, that activates NOAA assets. 

One of the many impacts of hurricanes is marine debris that is generated 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. 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 events. 

In addition, 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.

Learn more about how OR&R supports disaster recovery on our blog.

Last updated Friday, January 6, 2023 9:40am PST