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Study: Kansas benefits most from federal disaster grants

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posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 09:20 AM
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Mods: Please move this if you think it would fit better somewhere else, but I wasn't sure where to put it.

In light of the earthquake jitters of the past few days, I found this interesting. I happened to catch this on the news at my folks a couple days ago, and it's been in the back of my mind wondering how it got that way, especially as I live out here.


The Pew Charitable Trusts recently released its data analysis showing that for every $1 of federal funds spent on protecting against flood and tornado damage, Kansas avoided $6.81 in potential recovery costs. Researchers drew from a previous study of federal disaster mitigation grants between 1993 and 2016.


So basically, this is saying that whatever Kansas spends to mitigate flood and tornado damage, they are incredibly efficient at it because when those disasters do happen, they can avoid a substantial cost in the recovery. Missouri is almost as good at it.


The data shows Missouri trailed close behind, with each federal dollar saving $6.72, the Kansas News Service reported.


So I guess the question might be why these two states are so good at it while others that have to also deal with disasters aren't as good? It's not like coastal states don't have their share of trouble: hurricanes that bring flooding and tornadoes, for example. Other states like Oklahoma and Texas arguably have more resources (at least Texas) and have more tornadoes (Texas gets hurricanes and lots of flooding too).

My original thought was that tornadoes and floods were more frequent allowing the state to rebuild with the latest mitigation technologies zoned into place and a fairly regular basis, and the frequency kept those disasters fresh in everyone's mind so fewer people got complacent and would rather play the odds as might happen in an earthquake or even hurricane zone.

But this is even deeper than just building things disaster resistant. This has to be tied into how a state reacts and mobilizes to react to a disaster too. I mean the quicker you get people back on their feet, the less you have to mitigate damage because they're handling their own lives at that point. So there has to be something tied into how your infrastructure management systems are coordinated and put together. Maybe being largely rural states has something to do with it?

And maybe being largely rural states has something to do with it in another sense too -- farmers can't wait to let someone else put them back on their feet. Many have livestock that depends on them no matter what state their own lives are in, so they have to state putting their crap together right away or they lose it all. So many communities will start organizing independent of government just because they can't afford to do otherwise.

I don't know. It's just been an interesting thought exercise.




posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 09:33 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko


Probably the greatest factors are population density and geography.
That and rural populations tend to be more prepared for issues that can pop up out in the boondocks.



posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

Yes, and no. It's not about how much total was spent. For example, if NOLA took out federal grants on their levees and those levees held off a monster storm surge from Katrina, then that would be calculated to mitigate the potential damage of all that flooding.

It's a ratio more than a total spending thing. Think about it ... had NOLA properly maintained their levees and made them modern, even as expensive as that might have seemed at the time, what would the ratio of dollars in federal money spent to dollars in disaster mitigation afterward been?

That's what we're talking about.

Seattle has tried something similar because they know that if the Big One on the Cascadia lets do, they'll incur massive damage to buildings through liquefaction. The problem is that they tried to foist most of the costs off on building owners, and the owners fought the measure as racist because most of those older buildings are owned by POC.



posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 10:38 AM
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Maybe it all depends on what type of disasters each region/state experiences? Maybe the type of land and weather disasters Kansas has is easier to prevent against $$$ damage? Maybe an earth quake is harder to fortify against, versus a river flooding. Or hurricanes versus tornadoes.
edit on 6-7-2019 by ClovenSky because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2019 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: ClovenSky

They looked specifically at wind and flood damage for this study, so hurricane would be both wind and flood.

I think we're looking at factors in how efficiently governments work too, and factors of corruption in the systems. Matters of regulation driving up costs of projects. Costs of labor ...



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