This is a hurricane season few will forget anytime soon.

Millions of Americans spent parts of September and October bracing for what seemed like a constant onslaught of storms. The recovery – especially in hard-hit Puerto Rico – will take years.

In this issue of STATE, we look at how Americans respond to disasters.

We start with a piece from Tim Bella, who returns to the New Jersey Shore five years after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. Residents there have some advice for those who are recovering from the recent storms: This is going to take a while. “People told me it would be five years before we’re back together,” one person told Bella. “I thought, you gotta be kidding me. I’ll be back by Christmas. Well, it’ll be five years in October and we’re not 100% yet.”

CNN senior digital correspondent Chris Moody caught up with Michael Brown. Yes, the same Michael Brown then-President George W. Bush famously praised in the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Brown has plenty to say about President Donald Trump’s handling of the recent storms.

Finally, getting around New York and Washington is a disaster of a different kind. Marin Cogan takes a deep dive look at the struggling transit systems in America’s two biggest power centers and what it says about the government’s ability to solve problems.

Thanks to Meredith Artley, Natalie Austin, Wendy Brundige, Olivia Camerini, Stephany Cardet, Nitya Chambers, Ashley Codianni, Joe Coleman, Shane Csontos-Popko, Cullen Daly, Padraic Driscoll, Renee Ernst, Dianna Heitz, Vanessa Meza, Andrew Morse, Ed O'Keefe, Damian Prado, Jonathan Reyes, Brett Roegiers, Meshach Rojas, Rachel Smolkin, Manav Tanneeru, Bernadette Tuazon, Ben Werschkul, Z. Byron Wolf.