Investing in Climate Resilience Really Pays off, Study Shows

Weather-related catastrophes are increasing in frequency and intensity, and billion-dollar disasters are becoming the norm. The U.S. averages about 10 disasters costing more than $1 billion each year. Investing in resilience and preparedness won’t prevent these losses, but they can significantly reduce them.

For every dollar spent on climate resilience and preparedness, communities save $13 in damages, cleanup costs and economic impact, according to a new economic study by Allstate, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

$1 spent on climate resilience = $13 in economic savings, damages, and cleanup costs

The study analyzed models of 25 disaster scenarios ranging in damage and cleanup costs from $1 billion to $130 billion in communities across the country. The results show that investments in resilience and preparedness can substantially reduce the economic costs associated with disasters, preserving millions of jobs, reducing the number of people displaced from their homes and helping local economies rebound faster.

“Each scenario we modeled demonstrates that investing in resilience has remarkable benefits for communities,” said Marty Durbin, senior vice president of Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This important study helps identify opportunities to reduce the economic costs of natural disasters, including job loss, lost income, reduced economic activity and loss of workforce.”

For example, the study found that $10.8 billion of investment in resilience and preparedness for a Category 4 hurricane hitting Miami would prevent the loss of about 184,000 jobs and save about $26 billion in GDP and $17 billion in earned income for residents. Without those investments, the city would lose 361,000 jobs, $46 billion in GDP and $29 billion in income.

Other model examples include investing $833 million to prepare for a major earthquake in San Diego, which would save about 38,000 jobs, $5.8 billion of GDP and $3.3 billion in income; while $83 million of investments to prepare for a serious tornado hitting Nashville would save more than 5,300 jobs, $683 million in GDP and $464 million in income.

The study revealed that communities that invest in preparedness will benefit even if a disaster doesn’t hit. In the Cat 4 hurricane scenario above, the investments would help Miami create more than 126,000 jobs, increase production by close to $13 billion and grow income by more than $8.5 billion.

The report also offered examples of resiliency investments that communities, businesses and families can make, such as:

“It’s critical that government and business decision-makers at every level understand how such investments can improve the safety and strengthen the resiliency of their communities,” said Marc DeCourcey, SVP at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.


Seven types of natural disasters were analyzed to determine the economic impact of resilience and preparedness measures: hurricanes, large storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and droughts and heatwaves. A variety of methods were used to calculate the destruction caused by these disasters and their economic impacts.