How prepared is the United States for the inevitable next disaster(Links to an external site.)?
Hurricane Florence(Links to an external site.)killed 50 and caused $22bn in damages last year; shortly after,Hurricane Michael(Links to an external site.)killed 36 and left hundreds without homes. TheCalifornia wildfires(Links to an external site.)erupted the following month, destroying thousands of structures and leaving 89 dead. As climate change causes more intense superstorms and at a higher frequency, things are only likely to getworse(Links to an external site.).
Researchers, representatives, and residents have called for better preparation. A study released this year by theNational Institute of Building Sciences found(Links to an external site.)that every $1 spent on hazard mitigation saved the nation $6 in future disaster costs and, for years, severe storms have been heralded as the “wake-up call” – the disaster that will finally spur action. Yet last year, the federal government spent more than $300bn on disaster recovery.
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