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Disaster Resiliency and Recovery

To learn more about NREL's capabilities in the areas of disaster planning, response, and rebuilding, read the Becoming Resilient fact sheet.

NREL has extensive experience providing renewable energy and energy efficiency technical assistance in a variety of disaster-struck locations and situations. NREL offers unbiased, reliable, and comprehensive solutions for incorporating energy in disaster planning and recovery.

NREL supports disaster preparedness and planning by advising on how to:

  • Improve resistance and resiliency (e.g., through microgrids, building efficiency, islanding capabilities, vehicle fuel diversification, incorporating renewable energy, etc.)
  • Plan for secure, sustainable, and safe communities
  • Establish policies and codes that support sustainability, security, and safety.

NREL identifies disaster recovery and rebuilding opportunities to:

  • Incorporate energy efficiency, water and fuel conservation, sustainability, and renewable energy measures into disaster recovery efforts
  • Deploy on-site technology demonstrations (e.g., emergency back-up power)
  • Design sustainable, resilient buildings or infrastructure projects.

Example Projects

Working with NREL

NREL is typically funded to assist with incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy into disaster planning and recovery through federal agencies or work-for-others agreements. To learn more about how to work with us, contact Eliza Hotchkiss for domestic projects and Misty Conrad for international projects.

Natural Disasters, By the Numbers

Graphic showing an exclamation mark inside of a triangle, with the number 144 below it.

There have been 170 severe weather disasters since 1980 in which overall damages reached or exceeded $1 billion U.S. dollars.

Graphic showing a pile of bills with the words "$187 Billion" beneath them.

The estimated economic loss due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was about $171 billion.


Graphic with silhouetted images of New York and New Jersey with the words "$71 Billion" beneath them.

The estimated economic loss due to Hurricane Sandy was $66 billion.


"Billion Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters," National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, National Climatic Data Center. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014: