1 in 4 Americans has no emergency savings as the US grapples with wildfires, flooding, and droughts

california wildfires
Krystin Harvey looks at her home burned in the Camp Fire, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, California.

Emergencies can happen when you least expect them. Financial advisors recommend people save six to nine months’ worth of expenses in case of an emergency – but 25% of Americans say they have no emergency savings at all, according to a new study from Bankrate.

The survey results come as extreme weather sweeps across the world, with devastating floods and wildfires hitting 3 continents at once. Experts say the worsening extreme weather is a consequence of the climate crisis.

The smoke from western wildfires traveled all the way to the East Coast on Wednesday, causing air quality issues and hazy skies. In June, Washington grocery stores threw out food, covered aisles in plastic sheets, and ran sprinklers on store roofs as they battled a record-breaking heatwave. Tropical storm Elsa caused flooding from Florida to New York, with viral videos showing the areas of the New York City subway system underwater.

Businesses and individuals impacted by the pandemic and climate emergencies may not have sufficient funds saved. Bankrate said financial instability is lingering as a result of the pandemic – last year, nearly 40% of the country’s poorest households suffered from unemployment as millions of low-wage positions were eliminated.

One-third of survey respondents said they have less emergency savings than they did before the pandemic, and almost half of Americans said they are not comfortable with their level of emergency savings.

“It takes time to accumulate a sufficient emergency savings cushion equivalent to at least 6 months of expenses,” said Bankrate.com chief financial analyst, Greg McBride. “This is why the habit of saving – via direct deposit or automatic bank transfer – is so vitally important, as it represents the pathway to accumulating a comfortable savings cushion over time.”

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Angela Merkel’s successor caught laughing on camera while visiting devastating German flood scenes

Armin Laschet laughing
Armin Laschet, leader of the German CDU party, caught laughing on camera on July 17, 2021.

  • Angela Merkel’s successor was laughing on camera while visiting a flood-ravaged town in Germany.
  • Armin Laschet of the German CDU party apologized on Saturday after severe online backlash.
  • Germany is set to vote at upcoming elections in September.
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Angela Merkel’s potential successor apologized on Saturday after he was caught laughing during a press conference related to Germany’s devastating flash floods.

Germany and Belgium have both been hit by historic flooding this week, which has destroyed entire towns and killed more than 180 people, with many more unaccounted for, Reuters reported.

Armin Laschet, who leads the governing conservative party and is also the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia – one of the two states most affected by the floods – interrupted a party meeting to attend flood-hit areas over the weekend.

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While visiting the devastated town of Erftstadt, which has been completely ravaged by the floods, Laschet was caught breaking into an extended laugh as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a solemn press conference about flood aid.

Watch the moment below:

The moment caused outrage from opposition politicians and the public, as the hashtag #LaschetLacht – Laschet laughs – started trending on German Twitter.

Laschet took to Twitter on Saturday to apologize, writing that his laughter was “inappropriate.”

“The fate of those affected, which we heard about in many conversations, is important to us,” he wrote. “So I regret all the more the impression that arose from a conversational situation. That was inappropriate and I am sorry.”

Laschet was the favorite to succeed Merkel as German Chancellor in the upcoming September elections.

His party’s lead in the polls had been melting away since February, and support notably dropped again when he was chosen as a candidate in April.

Many experts believe he is struggling to emerge from the long shadow of Merkel, who has been in power since 2005, according to The Guardian.

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AOC mocked lawmakers who prioritize the filibuster over the Green New Deal by sharing videos of New York City underwater amid a torrential downpour

AOC
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attending a vote on January 9, 2020.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared videos of flooding in New York to call out lawmakers against the Green New Deal.
  • “I’m so glad the filibuster is here to fix this oh wait,” she tweeted Thursday.
  • Last week, Ocasio-Cortez also pointed to a video of the Gulf of Mexico on fire to evidence a need to fund her environment proposal.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clapped back at lawmakers who opposed her legislation to combat the climate crisis while sharing harrowing videos of flooding in New York City.

New York state and New Jersey faced torrential downpours as Tropical Storm Elsa makes its way up the northeast coast, leading to flooded streets and underground subway stations.

The congresswoman from New York shared a video of commuters wading in waist-deep water in subway stations, calling out lawmakers who are against her Green New Deal proposal.

“‘The Green New Deal, which is a blueprint to create millions of good jobs rebuilding infrastructure to stem climate change & protect vulnerable communities, is unrealistic,'” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday with a video. “‘Instead we will do the adult thing, which is take orders from fossil fuel execs &make (sic) you swim to work.'”

Ocasio-Cortez appeared to be referencing a leaked secret video in which a senior Exxon lobbyist said the company attempted to weaken President Joe Biden’s climate agenda by engaging in climate denialism through so-called “shadow groups” and targeted influential lawmakers to manipulate public opinion on the ongoing climate crisis, The New York Times reported.

In a follow-up tweet with a video of the Major Deegan Expressway in New York City underwater, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “I’m so glad the filibuster is here to fix this oh wait.”

The threat of a GOP filibuster looms over Biden’s infrastructure deal, which incorporates initiatives focused on combatting the climate crisis. The deal is currently on two tracks – one that bypasses the filibuster through budget reconciliation and requires a simple majority (50 Democrats plus the vice president) to. pass, and the other bipartisan track that could likely end up with more than 60 “yes” votes to withstand the filibuster.

This isn’t the first time the progressive congresswoman called out those who are resistant to addressing the climate crisis. Last week, she pointed to a shocking video of the Gulf of Mexico on fire after an oil pipeline rupture as evidence of a need to fund the Green New Deal.

“Shout out to all the legislators going out on dinner dates with Exxon lobbyists so they can say a Green New Deal is too expensive,” she tweeted with a thumbs-up emoji.

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