Hurricane Katrina: Historic Flood Event

The majority of fatalities in the New Orleans metropolitan area following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were caused by the direct physical impacts of flooding, according to a new study in the journal Risk Analysis published by the Society for Risk Analysis. The study findings are reported in a May 18 online article at Insurance Journal. “Loss of Life Caused by the Flooding of New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina: Analysis of the Relationship Between Flood Characteristics and Mortality† found that the overall mortality among the exposed population for the event was approximately 1 percent which is similar to findings for historical flood events. Mortality rates were highest in areas near severe levee breaches and in areas with large water depths. The majority of the victims were elderly with nearly 60 percent of fatalities over 65 years old, according to the study co-authors from the University of Delft in the Netherlands and Louisiana State University. A recent paper by the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) underscored the importance of considering vulnerable populations including the poor and elderly in disaster planning and property loss prevention initiatives in high-risk areas. Check out I.I.I. information on flood insurance.

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