Incoming Governors Will Have to Confront Many Natural Disasters

Governors have a wide range of priorities they want to tackle in the coming year, from tax reform to education. Yet it's a topic that receives less attention on the campaign trail and in their speeches that could determine their success — natural disasters.

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In the last two years alone, storms and natural disasters have killed scores of people, damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes and cost tens of billions of dollars.

Wildfires in the West and hurricanes in the South have been especially destructive, and scientists say climate change is making this more common. As the severity escalates, governors are finding they have to make disaster planning a priority or risk the consequences of inaction defining their terms and enraging voters.

Handling disasters and emergencies was a prime topic last week when the National Governors Association held a three-day seminar in Colorado that most of the nation's 19 governors-elect attended.

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