Many U.S. communities ravaged by this year's series of intense hurricanes and wildfires are counting on the federal government to cover much of the cleanup and rebuilding costs. History suggests some of them could be in for a frustrating experience.

An Associated Press review found that hundreds of communities and organizations over the past decade ended up getting less than they were told to expect by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Some even were told years later to repay money they received because FEMA determined they didn't comply with all of its requirements or should not have been given the aid in the first place.

For its part, FEMA is legally obligated to watch out for the taxpayers' money and make sure it is not being abused.