Minimizing the Economic Effects of Natural Disasters (cont.)


Tropical cyclone losses dominate the distribution of damage from billion-dollar disaster events. They have caused the most damage and have the highest average event costs. This total includes the initial cost estimates for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which are continually being assessed.

Although severe storms have caused the highest number of billion-dollar disaster events, the average event cost is the lowest. Tropical cyclones and flooding represent the second and third most frequent event types.

Earthquake losses in the United States add up to about $4.4 billion dollars a year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Eighty four percent of the nation's annual losses are expected to occur in California, Oregon and Washington, with California accounting for $3.3 billion in estimated damage costs. The loss estimates include only capital losses such as repairing or replacing buildings, contents and inventory and income losses.