Resource Center





The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.




Search results for "FEMA" ...

  • Millions, Nepotism & Lies

    Following a several month investigation we detailed how a small cabal of power brokers were able to take millions of dollars sparsely populated rural, Hardee County received and funnel the money to relatives and insiders without going the proper channels. This small group of power brokers has been able to fly under the radar for years because rarely does a major media outlet cover the county which is part of our viewing area. State legislators who received some of the money ended up being targets of an Investigation by the Florida Ethics Commission which is still on-going. Meantime in the course of our investigation we discovered documents showing more than a million dollars in insurance money Hardee County received for damages from Hurricane Charlie which hit the area in 2004 was unaccounted for. Although the Hurricane occurred more than 9 years ago FEMA has not closed the file. Some of the contacts we made investigating the misappropriation of funds during the grant became sources for this part of the story as well.

    Tags: nepotism; insurance; money; funds; corruption

    By Mike Deeson; Amy Marinec; Melissa Rancourt; Paul Thorson

    WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg, Fla.)


  • "FEMA's Toxic Bureaucracy"

    After nearly a year of reporting, the CBS News Investigative Unit reported a string of "discrimination, sexual harassment and cronyism in the New Orleans" FEMA office. Several staff members went on camera to share stories revealing the "toxic environment" of the FEMA office. Just a day after the story aired, an internal investigation was launched by FEMA, and the Chief of Staff was quickly transferred.

    Tags: Gulf Coast Recovery; Nancy Ward; Federal Emergency Management Agency; FEMA Louisiana Transitional Recovery; Doug Whitmer; Joseph Cao; Jim Stark; Mary Landrieu

    By Armen Keteyian; Michael Rey; Keith Summa; Rick Kaplan; Seth Fox; David Gladstone

    CBS News


  • Hung Out to Dry

    FEMA is currently in the “final stages of revisiting all of the flood maps throughout the country”. The investigation revealed major problems in the mapping and these mistakes could be costly to the residents in these areas. These residents living in the “flood zones” must pay flood insurance or risk losing their homes. Many of the residents believe they should be excluded from the flood area and come together to prove FEMA wrong.

    Tags: Federal Emergency Management Agency; South Central Los Angeles; Oxford; Southern California; disaster; relief; help; flood base level

    By Karen Foshay; Judy Muller; Bret Marcus; Justine Schmidt; Lata Pandya; Brian Frank; Alberto Arce

    KCET-TV (Los Angeles, Calif.)


  • CDC Buries Toxic Warnings

    "The Centers for Disease Control suppressed repeated warnings from one of its top scientists, raising questions about whether the CDC bowed to pressure from FEMA to conceal the long-term health risks of formaldehyde in the trailers it distributed to hurricane victims."

    Tags: Dr. Christopher De Rosa; Ellmore Ohio; beryllium; health threat; poisoning; toxicology; environmental medicine;

    By Armen Keteyian; Michael Rey; Cathy Landers; Craig Crawford

    CBS News


  • American's Neglected Levees

    Scripps reviewed the federal and state level system of levee oversight and found that no one at any level of government knows where all levees are, what they protect or what shape they are in. Thousands of communities are being forced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get levees certified under a national upgrade of flood hazard maps, but even FEMA admits the standards are outdated and don't accurately reflect the risks to people behind them.

    Tags: FEMA; levee; flood; Army Corps of Engineers; infrastructure; National Levee Safety Committee; insurance

    By Lee Bowman; Thomas Hargrove

    Scripps Howard News Service


  • The CDC, FEMA and formaldehyde

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, people who moved into trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency almost immediately complained about the air quality in them. As complaints mounter, FEMA had an agent of the center for Disease Control conduct a test of the formaldehyde found inside the trailers. Joaquin Sapien explains why it took more than two years for the government to admit that formaldehyde levels in many of the trailers were high enough to increase the risk of caner and repiratory illnesses.

    Tags: formaldehyde; Federal Emergency Management Agency; FEMA; Hurricane Katrina; Center for Disease Control; CDC; housing; FEMA trailers; air quality; environment; health

    By Joaquin Sapien



  • The Mahoney Scandal: Fall from Grace

    This story uncovered how Florida Rep. Tim Mahoney had secretly paid a former staffer - and one-time mistress - $120,000 and promised her a job at a Democratic media firm to stave off a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Further reporting also found that Mahoney had gone to great lengths to help another former mistress - a county emergency response official in her district - win a grant from FEMA. The report shows how Democratic leadership was aware of problems with Mahoney's conduct as early as September and encouraged him to deal with the situation.

    Tags: FEMA; government corruption; illicit affairs; illegal settlements; sweetheart deals; sex scandal

    By Emma Schwartz; Vic Walter; Rhonda Schwartz; Maddy Sauer; Megan Churchmach; Brian Ross

    ABC News


  • Hurricane Giveaway

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)kept tens of millions of dollars worth of new household supplies meant for Katrina victims stored in FEMA warehouses for two years. In early 2008, the agency decided the items were no longer needed and declared them surplus, even though agencies that help hurricane victims told CNN they desperately needed those types of items. The supplies ended up with federal and state agencies, but not Katrina victims. The investigation revealed the groups that are helping rehouse Katrina victims did not know these items existed. Furthermore, CNN discovered a serious disconnect between FEMA and the states, as well as within states themselves. Louisiana's surplus agency passed on taking any of the surplus items because the director said he was never told they were still needed. Mississippi, on the other hand, took the supplies and gave them to state prisons and other agencies, but not to non-profits helping Katrina victims. Those non-profits told CNN they never knew these items were available.

    Tags: Federal Emergency Management Agency; Hurricane Katrina; non-profit organizations; Louisiana; Mississippi; natural disasters

    By Abbie Bordreau; Scott Zamost; Patricia DiCarlo; Scott Matthews; Rich Brooks; Sean Sullivan; Mark Biello

    CNN (Atlanta)


  • 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.

    Tags: environment; hurricane; GIS; FEMA: disaster relief; insurance; mapping

    By Steve Meyers; Dan Murtaugh; Bill Finch

    Register (Mobile, Ala.)


  • FEMA's Formaldehyde Problem

    CBS investigation revealed that FEMA knew that the trailers which were used for emergency housing in Katrina, "may contain harmful levels of formaldehyde in them." However they did not warn residents or test the trailers.

    Tags: Hurricane Katrina; Katrina; housing; trailers; FEMA; formaldehyde; cancer;

    By Armen Keteyian; Michael Rey; Keith Summa; Ariel Bashi; Walter Leiding; Dan Radosky; Joe Frandino

    CBS News