The ever-expanding definition of federal emergencies and the legacy of risky building along the coast have made disasters into a growing industry. Beach towns and resorts benefit from disasters by using tax-payer relief funds as a form of insurance for their municipal property. These resorts and towns carry very little insurance themselves, because they know that they can rely on federal funds to cover storm damage. The average number of federal disasters has tripled since the 1950s; since then, federal agencies have spent $140 billion. Factors such as loose criteria, lax financial standards and golf course subsidies add to the expense.
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