Brianna Sacks

Los Angeles, CA

Brianna explores how climate change is transforming the United States through violent storms, intense heat, widespread wildfires, and other forms of extreme weather. She deploys to disaster zones and does enterprise reporting on the preparations for, responses to and aftermaths of catastrophic events.
Latest from Brianna Sacks

‘We can do better’: FEMA makes sweeping changes to speed up disaster aid

Agency announces sweeping changes in response to complaints about red tape and delays following hurricanes, floods, fires and other calamities.

January 19, 2024

How ‘cherry-picking’ policies let one insurer win big in Florida’s insurance crisis

While Florida’s insurance system has been working for some top executives, it has been crippling for many residents and disaster victims.

December 30, 2023

Southern California utility responsible for deadly 2022 fire, state officials say

The finding adds to the tally of blazes sparked by electric utilities that did not power down their lines in advance of high winds and dangerous fire conditions.

November 15, 2023

Maui police footage reveals how emergency response breakdowns put cops at risk

Interviews, documents and body-cam video raise questions about the chaotic moments that first responders in the Lahaina fire were forced to confront.

November 12, 2023

Hawaiian Electric’s insurance would cover a fraction of Maui fire claims

Hawaiian Electric is severely underinsured to pay victims of August’s deadly Maui wildfire and repair its own damaged infrastructure, according to a filing with state regulators this week, raising questions over how it could cover billions of dollars in claims if it is found liable for starting the blaze.

October 4, 2023

Life in the pink motel, a year after Hurricane Ian

El Rancho Motel in North Fort Myers, Fla., has become a lifeline for survivors of the storm. But one year later, its residents are desperate to move on.

October 2, 2023

What one motel tells us about survival in post-disaster America

One year after Hurricane Ian, many displaced victims are still without homes, some stuck in makeshift lodgings, such as the El Rancho Motel.

September 28, 2023

California plans big insurance shifts as climate change hits home

The actions of the nation’s biggest state could have implications for U.S. consumers, as more carriers leave disaster-prone states.

September 22, 2023

Maui’s neglected grasslands caused Lahaina fire to grow with deadly speed

A Washington Post investigation retraced the fire’s path, revealing that nonnative invasive grasses were key to creating the fast-moving, uncontrollable blaze.

September 2, 2023

Maui utility may have compromised evidence in fire probe, lawyers say

The utility removed damaged poles, lines and other equipment from where the Lahaina fire reportedly started before investigators were able to view the scene.

August 26, 2023