Too Risky to Wait: Plan Now for Climate Preparedness to Save Lives and Money

Forward-thinking investment in climate preparedness and resilience makes economic sense at both the federal and local levels. By proactively planning to make communities more resilient and prepared for floods, droughts and other climate impacts, American community leaders will not only save lives, but will also save their taxpayers the significant costs associated with recovering from the next climate-related emergency for which they were ill-prepared. Southeast Florida’s powerful success story illustrates how its community action protected its children, and its Children’s Hospital, in the face of extreme weather.

The conclusion of the National Climate Assessment was clear: the intensity of storms and rates of rainfall associated with hurricanes are projected to worsen with the warming climate. For assistance with how to lead and inspire your own communities and partners to support critical investment in climate preparedness, check out ecoAmerica’s Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change.

Helping communities deal with climate change is major focus in ’16 budget, says OMB official

By Dibya Sarkar FierceHomelandSecurity | February 23, 2015 

Studies show that for every dollar invested in pre-disaster mitigation to make communities more resilient and prepared for floods, droughts and other climate hazards, Americans save $3 to $4 — and the White House has proposed upping investments in such areas.

“The goal for investment in climate preparedness and resilience is clear: to proactively reduce the risks communities and ecosystems face, rather than waiting until after disaster strikes,” Ali Zaidi, the natural resources, energy and science associate director at the Office of Management and Budget, writes in a Feb. 20blog post.

He says the federal government has spent $300 billion directly on extreme weather events and fires alone over the last 10 years. For example, it spent $176 billion for domestic disaster response and relief, $61 billion for crop insurance, $34 billion for wildland fire management and $24 billion for flood insurance.

“While it is not possible to identify the portion of these costs incurred as a result of climate change, costs for each of these federal programs have been increasing and can be expected to continue to increase as the impacts of climate change intensify,” Zaidi adds.

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