New Metric Shows Climate Disasters Are Commonplace Nationwide Report Finds That 90 Percent of American Counties Have Experienced a Major Disaster in Last 11 Years
By Main Street Sentinel Staff
A recently published report used a new metric to reach a grim, if not surprising, conclusion about the ubiquity of climate disasters across the country. Rebuild by Design, a nonprofit focused on helping communities rebuild after a disaster, prepared the report and employed a new metric to determine that 90 percent of American counties have experienced a climate-change-related calamity since 2011.
Property damage, deaths, and recovery expenditures are well established measures of the toll a given natural disaster takes on a community, but the study looked for a more macroscopic heuristic and aggregated the number of times the federal government officially declared a disaster after a catastrophe. Such a designation is made when the scale of the destruction overwhelms municipal, county, and state resources’ ability to respond.
The report also found that 700 counties suffered 5 or more disasters a year and that 29 states averaged one disaster a year in the period studied.
Amy Chester, Rebuild by Design’s managing director, said at the time of the report’s release that “Climate change is here,” and “Every single taxpayer is paying for climate change.”