My World's on Fire

By Colleen Hagerty

A weekly newsletter about disasters.

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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…


The more things change

You probably don't need me to tell you how hot it is. Many of you are experiencing it or just getting over having experienced it, the thickness in the air unrelenting even at night. For those outside of the impacted areas, you've likely seen it talked about a…


Passing the mic

I can say without weirdness that this week’s edition is super interesting, because for once, I didn’t write it! I'm sharing an article today through the Solutions Journalism Exchange (if you don't know what solutions journalism is, here's a quick intro). Writ…


Welcome to the Internet

A (likely relatable) confession: I don’t spend much time on Facebook anymore. I can’t remember the last time I posted an update, and it’s definitely getting harder to match my 2015 profile picture with the way I look today. When I do log on these days, it’s u…


Tis the season

This week, I decided to bring back a MWOF fan favorite: the links edition! In case you're wondering what happened to these posts, I've been writing them for my Patreon subscribers as part of the exclusive content they get for supporting this newsletter (quick…


'It changed our classification of what a disaster is'

A Q&A with West Street Recovery