55% Of Americans Fear Climate Change Will Increase Natural Disasters, But 32% Don’t Believe Their Home Is At Risk

We’ve heard it time and time again — climate change will determine the fate of our future and of generations to come. And, it’s no secret that we’ve witnessed an increase in natural disasters not only in our lifetime, but in the past few years. 

Remember the 2018 California wildfires that destroyed over 1.6 million acres and 23,314 buildings? Or, Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which damaged over 135,000 homes? That’s not to mention the devastation that natural disasters have caused worldwide. 

Methodology 

The Simple Dollar conducted an online survey of more than 2,700 Americans aged 18 and older to learn more about if they feel threatened by climate change and if they’re insured in the chance that a natural disaster occurs in their community. The survey consisted of 3 questions fielded September 19, 2019 using Google Surveys. 

In our analysis, we found that 15% of Americans do not insure their homes while 30% don’t even know if they have home insurance.

Key findings

  • 55% of Americans think that climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of natural disasters.
  • 32% of Americans are not afraid of their property being damaged, while 19% are most afraid of fire and lightning damage. 
  • Nearly half of Americans (47%) have purchased home or rental insurance, while 31% don’t know if they have home or rental insurance. 

Climate change and its effect on natural disasters

First, let’s dive into how climate change is tied to natural disasters

Climate change refers to the long-term change in the earth’s weather patterns and temperatures, which could take place over the course of a few decades to millions of years. It’s one of the biggest threats that our world faces, but scientists say it can be slowed down through widespread sustainable actions.

The change in global surface temperatures fuels more droughts and increases the intensity and frequency of storms. Americans have witnessed that in just the past few decades. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reported that over the past 39 years, the U.S. has sustained 250 weather and climate disasters with the cost of damages reaching over $1.7 trillion

61% of women believe that climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of natural disasters

Compare this to only 50% of men who are concerned about climate change. Why is it that women are more in tune with the effects of climate change?

There’s no clear cut answer, but some argue it’s…

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