Policy ForumDisaster Management

U.S. Policies Pertaining to Weather and Climate Extremes

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Science  22 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5487, pp. 2053-2055
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5487.2053

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Climate and weather extremes--floods, drought, storms, severe weather--now have an impact on all levels of government and on the insurance industry. U.S. national policy has moved from structural approaches (building dams, levees, and irrigation ditches) to societal approaches: moving people out of hazardous areas, seeking improvements in building codes, and encouraging the use of crop and flood insurance. Federal relief assistance policies have been called into question, and renewed emphasis on personal responsibility is part of future policy.