Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Extreme Weather Disasters Have Cost U.S. Taxpayers Tens of Billions Since 2015
Press Release

RELEASE: Extreme Weather Disasters Have Cost U.S. Taxpayers Tens of Billions Since 2015

Washington, D.C. — A new analysis done by the Center for American Progress shows that extreme weather events—which will become more frequent and severe with climate change—have cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. Between 2005 and 2015, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, provided more than $67 billion to individuals and local governments in response to declared emergencies and major disasters. Communities in Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, New Jersey and Texas received the most FEMA aid during this time period.

“Climate change is causing more and more extreme weather events, putting at risk not only the lives and livelihoods of Americans but also significant taxpayer funds,” said Erin Auel, CAP Research Assistant and co-author of the paper. “As global temperatures continue to climb, these events are going to become more frequent, more powerful, more deadly, and more costly. Taking steps to address climate change and better prepare for the changes that are currently irreversible will save the United States significant amounts of money in the long term and reduce the devastation we have seen from natural disasters in recent years.”

CAP’s analysis breaks down FEMA spending by state and disaster type. Between 2005 and 2015, FEMA provided the most aid—more than $49 billion—for damage caused by hurricanes, including hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The paper highlights current proposed rules from FEMA incentivizing state investment in resilience measures and climate-smart infrastructure to minimize the fiscal and human toll of extreme weather before disasters occur.

Click here to read the paper.

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