Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Analysis Shows Extreme Weather Events on the Rise, Time is Now to Invest in Resilience
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Analysis Shows Extreme Weather Events on the Rise, Time is Now to Invest in Resilience

Washington, D.C. — Only five years into the current decade, the United States has already experienced nearly as many extreme weather major disasters as it did in the 1960s and 1980s combined, according to an analysis released by the Center for American Progress. Since 2011, extreme weather events causing at least $1 billion each in damage caused more than 1,200 fatalities and a total economic loss of $227 billion across 44 states.

A column released by CAP today looks at the most destructive extreme weather events and presidential major disaster declarations, as well as their economic and personal impacts. The column also offers important recommendations for improving the nation’s resilience strategies in order to mitigate future damage.

“While only time can tell how many disasters will hit, if it continues on its current track, the 2010s will see more than 600 extreme weather events—far surpassing any decade since the 1960s,” said Miranda Peterson, CAP Research Assistant and co-author of the column. “We are past due for investments to make the country more resilient to extreme weather and climate change. Investment in pre-disaster hazard mitigation has been shown to reduce damage by $4 for every $1 dollar spent. We cannot afford to delay these investments any longer since climate change is making extreme weather events more severe and more frequent.”

The column recommends that Congress approve the Obama administration’s budget request—which is in the ballpark of $90 billion—for programming to reduce disaster costs and build resilient infrastructure and communities. It also calls for further efforts, including the creation of a new state revolving loan fund for climate-resilient infrastructure similar to those developed for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at [email protected] or 202.481.7141.