Tags : Hurricane Sandy

Behind the Story: How NPR and ProPublica exposed problems with the Red Cross’ response to Superstorm Sandy

Justin Elliott of ProPublica

Justin Elliott, Jesse Eisinger and Laura Sullivan turned a vague tip about the American Red Cross’ inefficiency into a powerful report about the organization’s failings after Hurricane Isaac and Superstorm Sandy.

The joint project between ProPublica and NPR revealed that hundreds of millions of dollars pouring in from donors in 2012 fell to organization leaders often more concerned with the appearance that they were helping than with actually providing aid. The team of reporters got the story through public records, internal emails and documents, and accounts from current and former disaster relief specialists.

The team ...

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IRE Radio Podcast | Navigating Nonprofits

Americans donate about $300 billion a year to charities, with about 30 percent of that taking place in December. But not all charities are good stewards of donated dollars. For our last podcast of 2014 we’re talking about how to investigate nonprofits and charities. Here’s the lineup:

  • Justin Elliott of ProPublica talks about investigating the American Red Cross’ Superstorm Sandy relief efforts
  • Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic explains how he exposed major problems with the nonprofits running the Fiesta Bowl

You can find and download previous podcast episodes on iTunes or our Soundcloud page.

We’ll be ...

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Money trail for Sandy begins as Congress approves $51 billion in disaster aid

On Monday Congress approved $51 billion in disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy, three months after the storm that killed more than 130 people and caused billions in damage to the Atlantic coast.

Follow the money with IRE's coverage page, Hurricane Sandy: Covering the Aftermath

The spending was heavily debated and at a time sparked bipartisan anger over the inability of Congress to provide timely relief. In addition to a reluctance to add to federal debt, concerns about the bill from House Republicans centered on trying to make sure the money was actually being spent on emergency needs ...

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SBA disaster loan data updated in NICAR Database Library

In the wake of a disaster, individuals and business owners are often left with severely damaged property. Many turn for help to the Small Business Administration, which approves low-interest loans to help rebuild. For declared disasters in 2011 alone, the Small Business Administration approved over $1 billion in loans.

NICAR has updated the SBA database of these loans, which is now current through Sept. 2012. 

WHAT'S IN IT?
Disaster loans through the SBA are one of the primary forms of federal assistance for individuals and non-farm, private-sector businesses who have suffered losses. The data have information on the borrower ...

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Investigating charities calling for disaster relief money

In the wake of Sandy's destruction, countless efforts will be made to help victims. Already, ABC/Disney has designated a "Day of giving," the National Football League and it's players association has pledged $1 million to the Red Cross and iTunes is directly accepting donations.

Countless calls will be made for the public to donate to charities large and small. Reporters can investigate charities to analyze their past performance. They can also arm the public with knowledge by instructing them in ways they can check out who they are donating money to before it leaves their pockets.

These ...

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