The report, which you can see in its entirety at the bottom of this post, is part of RBD’s statistics for Utah gathered from 2011 to 2021, and it notes that over a 10-year period, climate disasters in the state have only cost residents an average of $11 per person.
Across the decade, FEMA and HUD have spent around $36.1 million in Utah for post-disaster funding. RBD’s report notes that Davis and Salt Lake counties faced the highest number of disasters. Those two counties had three disaster declarations. Seventy-six percent of Utah counties had at least one declaration over the last decade.
Washington County received the most federal aid over the last decade with $7 million due to severe storms and flooding.
RBD is a nonprofit that researches ways to prepare for and adapt to climate change. It was started by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the catastrophic storm that slammed into the eastern U.S. just over ten years ago, causing $62.5 billion in damage.
Ninety percent of the counties in the United States suffered a weather disaster between 2011 and 2021, according to RBD. Some endured as many as 12 federally-declared disasters over those 11 years. More than 300 million people — 93% of the country’s population — live in these counties.
Researchers had access to data from contractors who work closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, allowing them to analyze disasters and payouts down to the county level. The report includes some 250 maps. They also looked at who is most vulnerable and compared how long people in different places are left without power after extreme weather.
California, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Tennessee had the most disasters, at least 20 each, including severe storms, wildfires, flooding, and landslides. But entirely different states — Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Vermont — received the most disaster funding per person over the 11-year period.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.