Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "disaster relief" ...

  • Puerto Rico After the Storms: Recovery and Fraud

    U.S. taxpayer are footing the biggest bill ever for a natural disaster, $91 billion, going to a government mired in corruption and under FBI investigation. We are the only news program that we know of to tackle and extensively report on how much has been promised and how little has actually been received in the wake of hurricanes Maria and Irma. We travelled to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, learning there has been a great deal of misreporting and misunderstanding about these numbers, which were not easily accessible. To get at the true amounts, we obtained and examined federal and territory documents, pressed the governor’s office, and interviewed officials responsible for the aid including Puerto Rico’s top hurricane recovery official and FEMA’s top official in Puerto Rico. During our visit, there was a popular uprising against the government followed by the governor's resignation, and additional FBI arrests of U.S. and Puerto Rican officials and contractors.
  • The Center for Public Integrity: Tax Breaks: The Favored Few

    In February 2018, Congress passed a massive budget bill, and President Donald Trump signed it. It provided new money for the military. It funded disaster relief efforts. And it raised the nation’s “debt ceiling” — allowing the government to secure new loans. While these provisions grabbed headlines amid the chaos of what was, at best, a slapdash scramble to pass a budget and avert another government shutdown, a gaggle of goodies, benefiting a bevy of special interests, slipped into the bill’s 652 pages almost unnoticed. These goodies are called “tax extenders.” Seeing an opportunity to boldly tell an effectively untold tale, the staff of the Center for Public Integrity endeavored to explain how every tax extender — more than 30 in all — came to fruition and reveal how lobbyists gamed the political system and squeezed $16 billion worth of special favors from it. This project represented a rare example of deep investigative reporting on Congress. While hundred of reporters cover what Mitch MCConnell and Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, very few unravel how the institution of Congress is corrupted.
  • The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster

    The American Red Cross has botched recent disaster relief efforts and been serially misleading about how it uses donors’ money.
  • Disastrous Relief

    The Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters (or MANFF) was supposed to be an advocate for Aboriginal evacuees of the devastating Manitoba floods of 2011. Two First Nations communities were completely written-off by flood waters, leaving over 2,000 people homeless. MANFF was to make life easier for these evacuees as they waited-out government wrangling in hotels and rental houses scattered throughout the province, separated form loved ones and their home communities. $85 million (and counting) flowed through MANFF to care for these evacuees. And yet millions of dollars in bills went unpaid. Frustrated and frightened evacuees eventually contacted APTN with reports of bullying and mistreatment by MANFF staff. Melissa Ridgen looks for answers in APTN Investigates’ Season 5 premier, Disastrous Relief.
  • In the Danger Zone

    "This series revealed how seriously inaccurate federal flood maps for coastal Alabama have contributed to hurricane flood losses, encouraged unsafe construction, and influenced people to forego flood insurance." FEMA’s flood maps drastically underestimate the reality of coastal flooding in large areas of Alabama; the author used GIS to show that floods in the area are six to nine times more frequent than federal predictions.
  • Hurricane Katrina Reporting Package

    This package of investigative stories shows why so many things went wrong during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Time staff reported on FEMA Director Mike Brown, and how his general incompetence hurt relief efforts. The package also includes a look at New Orleans three months after the disaster to see how it recovery efforts were working.
  • FEMA: A Legacy of Waste

    Hurricane Katrina is only the latest episode in a history of bungling and fraud associated with FEMA. The Sun-Sentinel spent nearly a year studying FEMA's work in Miami-Dade County and discovered fraud and waste in the aftermath of Hurricane Frances. They found at least $330 million of FEMA money poured into communities that suffered no damage, as well as FEMA inspectors with criminal records, FEMA funds used for twice as many funerals as official deaths, and many other instances of fraud and waste.
  • Cashing in on Disaster

    This investigation started with the observation that many more Floridians were receiving disaster relief funds than were actually affected by the 2004 storms. The story went on to reveal that some relatively unaffected parts of Florida received even more aid than areas that took a direct hit. Residents of Miami-Dade County got more than $21 million, though the actual damage done there was equivalent to a bad thunderstorm. Reporters found that FEMA inspectors often received inadequate training. Results from the story include a state legislative investigation into the hurricane payments and even involvement from the federal Department of Homeland Security.
  • A Backcountry Town Takes on the Red Cross

    An overview of the way the San Diego Red Cross chapter channeled donations and handled the disaster relief for victims of the Alpine fire. The series concentrate on the accountancy of the donations and the 10 months struggle of the victims to obtain explanations from the Red Cross. It also opens an inside view to the procedures of the Red Cross and especially of the San Diego chapter and the practices of its CEO, Dodie Rotherham.
  • Independent Report Critical of Red Cross Management

    The accounting and auditing firm of the American Red Cross conducted a confidential review of its management and handling of finances. Both were reported as severely deficient (as much as 25% of the money in the disaster relief fund was unaccounted for). The firm provided the charity a confidential 600-page report. Though they were not legally required to release the report, the NonProfit Times obtained a copy.