Make Our Communities More Resilient
As conservatives, we plan ahead. When it comes to natural disasters, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One dollar invested now equals six dollars after the disaster.
Taking common-sense measures and making sound investments help ensure our communities and farms are resistant to natural disasters like fires, droughts, and floods.
Communities forced to rebuild from wildfires
Why make our communities more resilient?
Natural disasters of all kinds are becoming much more common. The number of Billion-Dollar disaster events and their costs has been steadily increasing since the 1980’s. Recent extreme weather events have influenced 72% of people’s views on climate change.
Poor forest management practices coupled with warmer and drier conditions are drastically increasing the frequency and magnitude of fires. In 2021, burning boreal forests released 150% more carbon dioxide than annual average emissions between 2000 and 2020, nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as global aviation. Wildfires not only emit a massive amount of carbon, but they also damage local air quality, devastate wildlife, and destroy ecosystems.
Healthy forests should have approximately 40-60 trees per acre. Many at-risk forests today have up to 600 trees per acre. Overcrowded forests promote fires in two ways:
- Trees aren’t able to get enough water, which increases aridity and creates ideal conditions for infestation from insects like pine beetles, which weakens and kills trees. Fragile and dead trees are much more combustible and can cause wildfires.
- The increased amount of trees creates extra “fuel” that exacerbates fires.
Helping farmers make their farms more resilient
Crop production depends on access to healthy soil, adequate water supplies, and predictable weather conditions, all of which are more difficult to manage as the climate changes.
A 2019 U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service report estimates that by 2080, increased price volatility and reduced yield from agriculture due to extreme weather will increase the cost of crop insurance programs by 11% for corn and 65% for soy.
Natural disasters are becoming much more common. Flooding is increasing at an exponential rate. This is caused by:
- Less natural spaces for water to drain, made worse by irresponsible development
- Heavier and more frequent rainfall events, driven by climate change. For every 1°C increase, 7% more water vapor is carried by the same air volume.
- Rising sea levels, also driven by climate change, bottle up rivers and drainage systems
A national survey of municipal flood and stormwater managers revealed that 83% had experienced flooding in their communities.
For a majority of Americans, two-thirds of their wealth is in their home. One flood can wipe out a lifetime of savings.