US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation


Emergencies: Economic Impact

USACE disaster preparedness and emergency response efforts help to reduce the effects of disasters on businesses and communities, significantly softening the economic impact.

The economic impact of a disaster can be tremendous, destroying or disabling businesses, crippling critical infrastructure, and causing untold property damage. Floods alone are estimated to cause up to $6 billion in damage a year in the United States.

It is impossible to prevent disasters, but USACE plays a vital role in minimizing their economic impact by responding quickly to limit damage and by helping businesses and communities get up and running again promptly. By restoring vital water and power supplies, assessing structural damage and reopening transportation routes, USACE can help communities get back to “business as usual.”

One example of the economic impact of USACE efforts is the Mississippi Floods in the 1990s. USACE used its reservoirs to impound millions of gallons of water, preventing an estimated $3 billion in damages.

USACE'S rapid response to natural and man-made disasters such as this plays a significant role in minimizing their impact on local and state economies.