In about six minutes in 2011, a milewide tornado destroyed homes, businesses and a medical center in Tuscaloosa, Ala. However, the city is using reserve, public and private funding to turn the natural disaster into an opportunity for revitalization. "We wanted to build it back to where [residents are] proud of living there and give businesses incentives to build in that area," said Savannah Howell, Tuscaloosa's community-development program manager. Officials in Greensburg, Kan., and San Francisco also have made the best of natural disasters by turning destruction into improvement.
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