Whether it's wildfires in the West, drought in the Midwest, or sea-level rise on the Eastern seaboard, chances are good your state is in for its own breed of climate-related disasters. Every state is required to file a State Hazard Mitigation Plan with FEMA, which lays out risks for that state and its protocols for handling catastrophe. But as a new analysis [PDF] from Columbia University's Center for Climate Change Law reveals, many states' plans do not take climate change into account.
Michael Gerrard, the Center's director, said his team combed through all 50 reports to see how accurately and comprehensively climate change was taken into consideration, if at all, and grouped them into four ranked categories:
- No discussion of climate change or inaccurate discussion of climate change.
- Minimal mention of climate change related issues.
- Accurate but limited discussion of climate change and/or brief discussion with acknowledgement of need for future inclusion.
- Thorough discussion of climate change impacts on hazards and climate adaptation actions.