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The ROI of Mitigation Measures in Emergency Management

Best Practice Guide

The rise in billion-dollar weather events

Catastrophic weather events are costly. They’re also getting costlier by the year.

The numbers, here, are staggering. Last year, the team at the NOAA Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) released a billion-dollar disaster report covering the year 2021.

The findings weren’t pretty. The year 2021 came in second only to the years 2020, 2017, and 2005 in terms of number of disasters (20) and associated costs (USD 145 billion).

Zooming out, the report also found that the U.S. (alone) sustained well over 300 severe weather/climate events since 1980ii. Costs associated with these disasters clocked in at USD 2.7 trillion.

What’s more, the overall trendline points in the wrong direction. The average number of severe events and their associated costs have all increased since the 1980s, as the following table demonstrates.

Nor have things calmed down since. As of July 2022, the U.S. had experienced nine-billion-dollar weather events, one drought and eight severe storms, both categories of disaster that are on the precipitous rise

Indeed, gone are the days of one-in-every-100-year weather events, with conditions likely to worsen.

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