FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump talks with from left, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, as California Gov. Jerry Brown, walks at right during a visit to a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp wildfire in Paradise, Calif. For US governors, including those taking office early next year, fires, floods and other climate-related emergencies could become top policy concerns. During his campaign, Newsom said the state needs to be more aggressive in clearing trees and brush, particularly its millions of dead trees. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Fires, floods and other disasters await new governors

November 24, 2018 - 9:08 am

Governors have a wide range of priorities they want to tackle in the coming year, from tax reform to education.

Yet it's a topic that receives less attention on the campaign trail and in their speeches that could determine their success — natural disasters.

In the last two years alone, storms and natural disasters have killed scores of people, damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes and cost tens of billions of dollars.

Wildfires in the West and hurricanes in the South have been especially destructive, and scientists say climate change is making this more common.

As the severity escalates, governors are finding they have to make disaster planning a priority or risk the consequences of inaction defining their terms and enraging voters.