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Disaster Resilience

NREL works directly with federal agencies, emergency managers, community leaders, and home and business owners to deliver technologies, tools, and long-term energy solutions for each phase of disaster resiliency planning. Our comprehensive energy solutions address the full spectrum of multi-jurisdictional resilience planning—before and after disaster strikes.

Natural Disasters, By the Numbers

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

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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:

Becoming Resilient

NREL defines resilience as a balance of climate adaptation measures that strengthen resistance to disruptive events and response systems that improve the capacity to recover from these events in a safe, secure, and prompt manner.

NREL's resiliency program offers a broad range of services, including whole-community energy planning, on-site technical assistance, energy-efficiency design and rebuilding strategies, and expert guidance in building a roadmap to resilience for communities preparing for national disasters and the effects of climate change.

A graphic titled Disaster Planning and Recovery Technical Assistance: Reliable Third-Party Expertise in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.   Two boxes follow: one with the heading Preparedness and Planning and bullets underneath  that say: NREL advises on how to: Improve resistance and resiliency (microgrids, building efficiency, islanding capabilities, etc.). Plan for secure, sustainable, and safe communities. Establish policies ad codes that support sustainability, security, and safety. The other box has the heading Recovery and Rebuilding and bullets under it reads: NREL identifies opportunities to: Deploy on-site technology demonstration (e.g., emergency backup power). Incorporate energy efficiency, sustainability, and renewable energy measures into disaster recovery efforts. Design sustainable, resilient buildings.

Preparedness and Planning

Learn more about NREL is helping local governments and communities committed to climate change preparedness bring together federal agencies, state governments, and local communities to assess and plan for their regionally-specific vulnerabilities and interdependencies associated with the impacts of climate change.

Recovery and Rebuilding

Learn more about how NREL works with city leaders, business owners, and residents to identify ways to incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in communities recovering from disaster.

International Support

NREL also provides technical assistance to support international communities, such as American Samoa and Haiti, with incorporating clean energy into disaster resiliency and recovery planning.

Working with NREL

To find out how we can assist your organization with incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy into disaster resiliency and recovery planning, contact Eliza Hotchkiss.