My World's on Fire

By Colleen Hagerty

Expanding your understanding of disasters every week

Expanding your understanding of disasters every week

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Demystifying Disasters: Part One

This week is all about emergency managers


'This is a banana. This is a pineapple. This is a disaster. '

A Q&A with the editors of Critical Disaster Studies


Three years in Paradise

This past Monday, November 8th, marked the three-year anniversary of the day the Camp Fire burned through Butte County, California. I've written multiple newsletters about the aftermath of this fire, the deadliest in the state's modern history, talking about …


Tell me something good

Some solutions journalism to brighten your inbox


Allow me to reintroduce myself

My disaster reporter origin story


A work in progress

Well! I am totally blown away by the response to last week's newsletter. I'll be honest, I was pretty nervous to send it out (I always feel weird sending out newsletters about this newsletter), but the idea of "demystifying disasters" seems to have struck a c…


You complete me

In last week's newsletter, I shared a survey to check in with you all about your experience with this newsletter—what you like or dislike; what you want to see more or less. This feedback is really essential for me in shaping My World's on Fire and deciding w…


Behind a billion-dollar disaster

Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) released a tally of this year's billion-dollar disasters so far. This is a statistic that often gets cited in articles, so I wanted to …


When disasters come for the dead

“If you consider the vulnerable populations that are greatly impacted by [climate] disasters, you can safely assume that their cultural resources are [also at] risk of being destroyed, displaced, damaged.”For my latest feature, I spoke with Jennifer Blanks, a…


A wildfire 'yardstick'

In February, I received a 421-page paper in my inbox, detailing minute-by-minute the spread of the most destructive wildfire in modern California history. The meticulous research began as that fire—the Camp Fire—was still burning in the fall of 2018, and it h…


The possibility of doing things different the next time

A few months back, I wrote about the topic of climate migration and the imperfect language we have to describe it. I focused in particular on the experience of tribal members along the Louisiana coast, who have had to irrevocably shift their lives and communi…


The squeaky wheel

A Q&A with Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter


The people who keep the worst from happening

A shorter newsletter from me this week, as I'm hoping you'll take the time you normally spend here watching Episode #327 of COVIDCalls – linked below – instead. I've been lucky enough to be a guest on this daily discussion a few times over the past year, and …


Anniversary presence

Every Thursday, I receive a Google alert for the word “derecho.” I set it just about a year ago following the record-breaking, powerful storm that swept across the Midwest, which I wrote about in this newsletter at the time:“The August 10th storm covered a 77…


Back to the beginning

Part two of the BRIC series


Show me the money

Today's newsletter is about the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, a topic I've covered before in this newsletter. If you aren't sure or could use a refresher on what that is, check out this edition from May before reading on!La…


Why I don't use the term 'natural disaster'

First things first: A huge thanks to all who joined MWOF movie night last week! I had so much fun watching with you and will definitely be doing it again. Stay tuned...Looking back through my archives, I realized it's been just about a year since I sent one o…


A Band-Aid on an arterial wound

Sometimes, I do interviews that stick with me long beyond a publication date; comments I find myself turning over in my head again and again. That ended up being the case for every conversation I had with sources for my latest article, which dug into the comp…


'There's nothing left to burn'

In Northern California, tucked between the Plumas National Forest and the Nevada border, there’s a small, rural town called Doyle that’s home to around 600 people. It was named after John Doyle, the area’s first postmaster, his great-great-granddaughter Kathy…


Blast from the past

You might notice that today's newsletter jumps from issue #7 to #52 – that's not a mistake! All of the My World's On Fire archives are finally in one place, and to celebrate, I decided to do a special links post. Along with my regular list of stories I'm foll…