Certain areas across the United States have been targeted most by natural disasters. For example, In the last 16 years, Louisiana has seen 6 hurricanes. Additionally, California has become more prone to wildfires. The graph below shows the annual losses in billion dollars each year since 1980. It is clear that in the last 40 years, the amount of billion dollar disasters has increased, significantly. It is also clear that these disasters have become much more frequent. In the first 3 months of 2018, 3 big storms hit. One of the three was Hurricane Harvey with damages that cost $125 billion which was right up there with the costs of Hurricane Katrina in 2006. The graph below also shows that while 2018 has been the most costly year so far in terms of natural disasters. The overall costs of natural disasters has increased significantly since 1980.
The damage costs for these natural disasters has increased so much that climate change is not the only factor. The way that these disasters are being handled should be considered according to this New York Times Article. The article discusses the lack of preventative measures the United States takes when trying to protect against damages that Hurricanes cause. 60% worldwide damage that happens from hurricanes occurs in the US. The government should encourage the of building storm walls to protect from damages caused by these storms. According to the graph below, the sea-level has increased 3.5 inches since 1993, meaning that storm surges affect the coast line more, so walls and other preventative measures are needed in these areas.
I think that looking at the cost of natural disasters is incredibly interesting–I wouldn’t have expected costs to rise at such an alarming rate. Does inflation account for this at all? And could there be other reasons that the United States receives 60% of the annual worldwide damage from hurricanes? Is it a location type of issue/ where else in the world receives a comparable number and magnitude of hurricanes? How do other countries cope with hurricane prevention in more sustainable ways? Are storm walls the only answer?
I also find this incredibly interesting that not more preventative measures are taken before such devastating hurricanes occur. If certain areas are so prone to these storms, why are they not taking more action to protect their homes?
Good post. I agree that preventative measures should be taken. I think that in this endless fight against the issues that stem from climate change we should do everything we can. I also think that hurricanes should be prepared for. It is the same areas prone to hurricanes every year. The infrastructure that protects those areas should be state of the art especially in a first world country like the US.