After a record 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020, it’s time to overhaul US disaster policy – here’s how

The new Australian Disaster Resilience Index

Australians are always learning to live with a changing, unpredictable and uncertain environment, of which natural hazards are an increasing part. We are all developing ways to cope with, adapt to and recover from changes in our lives. But how does your community adapt and respond to change, and how can this process be improved? What resources does your community have at its disposal when responding to a natural hazard, and how could these be transformed so that your community recovers more easily and quickly, and is able to adapt its resources effectively so that it is better prepared next time?

Suellen Flint, the deputy state recovery coordinator at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (Western Australia) explains what makes a resilient community…

After a record 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020, it’s time to overhaul US disaster policy – here’s how

Following the hurricanes of 2017 and 2018, HUD received more disaster funding to distribute than any other agency, but by 2019 less than 1% had been spent. It took more than two years for HUD to approve disaster relief spending after the 2018 California fires

The year 2020 broke disaster records across the country in destructive and expensive ways. The Atlantic had so many hurricanes, meteorologists ran out of tropical storm names for only the second time. Across the Midwest, extreme storms flattened crops and tore up buildings. Western states repeatedly broke records for their largest wildfires on record. Globally, it was tied for the hottest year on record.

All told, in 2020 the U.S. had 22 climate and weather disasters with losses exceeding US$1 billion dollars each, six more than any previous year. Together they cost over $95 billion, NOAA announced on Jan. 8. Such disasters affect millions of Americans and are particularly devastating for low-income communities and communities of color. They destroy homes, schools and businesses. They put lives at risk.

Families, communities and taxpayers are paying the price, yet many of these losses could be avoided with smart policies…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s