Kentucky gets a ‘D’ Grade on America’s Preparedness Report Card

WAHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ) – A new report released today reveals Kentucky is largely unprepared to face significant and increasing risks posed by changing levels of extreme weather, including extreme heat, drought, wildfires, and inland flooding. Kentucky received an overall D grade for States at Risk: America’s Preparedness Report Card, prepared by the States at Risk Project, an assessment designed to help provide a benchmark for states to assess risks and build and implement action plans to increase their preparedness levels.

While Kentucky scored an overall D grade, the state received a D+ for extreme heat, D+ for drought, D+ for wildfires, and F for inland flooding threats.

Key findings related to the risks Kentucky faces from extreme heat, drought, wildfires, and inland flooding include:

  • By 2050, the typical number of heat wave days in Kentucky is projected to increase from nearly 15 to slightly fewer than 70 days per year.
  • Currently, Kentucky’s severity of widespread summer drought is below average and ranks in the bottom five states among the 36 states assessed for drought threats.
  • By 2050, the severity of widespread summer drought threat is projected to almost double, but it is projected to remain below average among the states assessed.
  • Approximately 1.5 million people in Kentucky, or 35 percent of the state’s population, live within the wildland-urban interface, where developed and wild lands converge and intersperse, and vulnerability to wildfire is elevated.

By 2050, Kentucky’s average number of days with high wildfire potential is projected to increase from fewer than 10 to nearly 25 days a year.

  • By 2050, Kentucky is projected to see an above average increase in its threat level, and while it would continue to face an average threat level, it has taken almost no action to prepare for its future inland flooding risks, while most states have taken some action or more.
  • By 2050, Kentucky is projected to see an above average increase in its threat level, and while it would continue to face an average threat level, it has taken almost no action to prepare for its future inland flooding risks, while most states have taken some action or more.

For a full list of state grades, visit www.statesatrisk.org. The States at Risk Project is a collaboration of ICF International and Climate Central.

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