Climate change is changing the environment and the way that we see disasters.
According to a report by the Center for American Progress, from 2011 to 2013 the federal government spent an estimated $136 billion on weather-related disaster relief and recovery. During this same time, they government also spent $22.4 billion on its 43 disaster preparedness programs – 16.5 percent of that spent on relief and recovery.
In January, the draft National Climate Assessment predicted more and stronger natural disasters for upcoming years, making disaster preparedness a priority.
Whether on a national, state, or local level, disaster preparedness is expensive. Edna, Texas footed a $2.5 million bill to build a hurricane shelter for its 5,500 residents. The Federal Emergency Management Agency furnished about 75 percent of those funds and plans to allot about $680 million to create similar facilities in 18 other states.
Natural disasters ravage both the city and the country. Of the $22.4 billion spent on disaster preparedness programs, about $12 billion went to Agriculture Department programs to support the protection of water resources from drought and floods.
A 2012 report by the National Resources Defense Council investigated the preparedness of states against natural disasters and found many states in the Corn Belt and Midwest regions had not considered or created any programs to prepare for climate change.
With worsening natural disasters, it is becoming more important that states devise a plan of adaptation in addition to a plan of reaction.