GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Since 1980, weather disasters in the U.S. have caused more than $1.6 trillion in damage. Weather disasters, and federal spending on them, are expected to increase due to climate change, as our High Risk List indicates.
What GAO FoundIn the past 2 years, notable progress has been made in the vast majority of areas that were on GAO's 2011 High Risk List. Congress passed several laws and took oversight actions to help address high-risk areas.
The nation has experienced vast losses from natural hazards. The potential for future events, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, demonstrates the importance of hazard mitigation--actions that reduce the long-term risks to life and property from natural hazard events.
In accordance with Public Law 108-324, GAO is required to audit the reimbursement of up to $70 million of appropriated funds to the American Red Cross (Red Cross) for disaster relief associated with 2004 hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.