The high winds of Hurricane Laura uprooted a pine tree in 86-year-old Roy’s back yard in Sulphur, Louisiana, crushing the back of his home.

Pieces of Roy’s model airplane collection he was able to salvage.

Rain poured in ruining walls, floors and most of his model airplane collection. This wasn’t just any collection. This was handcrafted, made over the span of seventeen years on various oil rigs off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana where Roy served as a driller. During his time offshore, he’d watch the airplanes high overhead, memorizing their details and using scraps and spare wood on the rig to build miniature models of what he’d seen, capturing…


Within the span of 12 hours, 8–10 inches of rain fell in parts of West Virginia in June 2016, resulting in flash flooding throughout the state. It was historic, a one-in-a-thousand-year event.

It was also devastating: 23 people died, more than 5,000 homes were damaged and there was more than $36 million in damage to roads and bridges across the state.

(Jeromy Rose/Facebook)

President Obama declared a Federal Disaster, enabling FEMA to provide immediate individual assistance to West Virginians. Subsequently, HUD provided the state with a substantial Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR), which financed a focused recovery on a…


The storm lasted roughly 45 minutes. Trees were stripped of bark. Asphalt pulled up from roads and parking lots. Winds reached 200 miles per hour. Much of Joplin, Missouri was left devastated from an EF5 tornado on May 22, 2011.

SBP’s co-founder Zack Rosenburg went to Missouri to see how we could help. We were a year into revolutionizing SBP’s work using Toyota’s Production System for rebuilding. It had increased our efficiency and production work post-Katrina and we knew it could make a difference in another suffering community as well. …


Water is easy to take for granted when you have it. You can’t stop thinking about it when you don’t — and it can be a matter of life and death.

On September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas as a Category 5 and then sat over the islands for three full days, battering with wind and rain. The storm brought in massive tidal surges across Grand Bahama and Abaco, flooding the freshwater aquifers with saltwater and cutting off access to potable water for thousands. …


National Fair Housing Month commemorates the enactment of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Fair housing, simply put, is the right to choose housing free from unlawful discrimination. The Fair Housing Act, one of the hallmarks of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s sweeping civil rights legislation, prohibits housing discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or family status. It has implications for racial equity, poverty, health, and even disaster recovery.

SBP’s 15 years of experience in long-term disaster recovery is inextricably linked to our ability (and the ability of the communities where we work) to affirmatively further fair…


In 2019, on a block of land in New Orleans that used to be a salvage yard, SBP broke ground for what would become The St. Peter, Louisiana’s first net-zero apartment building. Its grand opening in February 2020 welcomed the new residents and celebrated the 50-unit mixed-income residence where half of the units are prioritized for veterans. In a city where affordable housing is often hard to come by, The St. Peter offers an opportunity for veterans, individuals and families to live in high quality, energy-efficient, resilient housing they can afford.

The St. Peter as viewed from its namesake, St. Peter Street.

After months of planning, the completely unexpected happened —…


This week, AmeriCorps Week, SBP is deploying a team to Florida in partnership with AmeriCorps Disaster Services Unit to serve in an operations and logistics capacity at a FEMA COVID-19 mass vaccination site. We’re once again stepping in to address disaster — not a natural one this time, but one that has equally devastated lives and communities. We rebuild homes efficiently using the Toyota Production System, and our AmeriCorps members will take and apply that same model as they serve in Florida.

Frank Manjaly, an AmeriCorps member joining our COVID-19 response team for the next 30 days, explains what his…


A growing number of Texas counties (more than 100 to date) are now entering FEMA’s disaster recovery process for Winter Storm Uri. Based on data from the past, we know that regardless of the disaster type, applicants must be diligent in advocating for themselves. They must also keep up with changes to FEMA’s application process and the impact it can have on the awards they receive.

We knew COVID-19 would mean big changes in the 2020 disaster recovery space, from immediate response and damage assessments to long-term rebuilding efforts. We hoped that FEMA would adopt the best practices of the…


Millions of Texans are surveying the damage done by last week’s severe winter storm. Many will likely need assistance from FEMA now that a growing number of Texas counties are eligible for federal help and can apply for Individual Assistance. FEMA Individual Assistance provides financial and direct services to eligible un- or under-insured individuals and households affected by a disaster. The assistance is intended to meet basic needs such as temporary housing and food.

Houston, Texas

FEMA, and America’s overall system for disaster recovery, is stretched terribly thin by the COVID-19 pandemic and a record-setting 2020 disaster season. …


What’s Happening

Hundreds of thousands are still without power in Texas and a water boil advisory still exists. Several days ago President Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state of Texas. This means that FEMA is mobilized to provide equipment and resources to alleviate the impact of the disaster. We’re waiting to see if Individual Assistance — funding that will go directly to individuals and families — will be approved. If so, people can begin the FEMA recovery process.

We have free resources for survivors to help navigate the post-disaster insurance and federal assistance processes, avoid contractor fraud and instructions for…

SBP: Shrinking time between disaster & recovery

Bringing discipline & innovation to create social impact. Shrinking the time between disaster & recovery for at-risk communities. sbpusa.org

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