Mitigating Hurricane Risk

U.S. hurricane losses will continue to increase unless action is taken to address the growing concentration of people and properties in coastal areas. That’s the key finding of a study just published in Natural Hazards Review. It reports that while 2004 and 2005 were exceptional from the standpoint of the number of very damaging storms, there is no long-term trend of increasing damage from hurricanes in the period 1900 to 2005. Rather, societal factors such as the rising population and wealth on the nation’s coasts are a major influence in shaping trends in damage related to hurricanes. It points out that on average hurricanes in the U.S. have caused annual damage of about $10 billion for the last 106 years. The current trend of doubling losses every 10 years suggests that a storm like the 1926 Great Miami hurricane could result in perhaps $500 billion in damage as soon as the 2020s. What do you  make of this prognosis? I.I.I. has additional hurricane facts & stats available online.

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