A correction was published on 18 July 2012, see Sustainability 2012, 4(7), 1645-1646.

Sustainability 2011, 3(11), 2157-2181; doi:10.3390/su3112157

The Unsustainable Trend of Natural Hazard Losses in the United States

1,* email, 2email, 3email and 3email
Received: 10 October 2011; in revised form: 26 October 2011 / Accepted: 28 October 2011 / Published: 14 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: In the United States, direct losses from natural hazards are on the rise with hurricanes, flooding, and severe storms contributing about three quarters of the total damages. While losses from severe storms have been stable over the past fifty years, hurricane and flood losses have tripled. Per capita losses are also increasing showing that impacts outpace population growth with high per capita losses occurring largely in the Southeast and Midwest. If the loss escalation of the past two decades continues into the future, then direct losses of $300 to $400 billion within a single decade are possible. In order to reverse this trend, sustainable development, vulnerability reduction, and hazard mitigation must become priorities and current loss reduction efforts need to be evaluated and re-assessed in terms of their effectiveness. These conclusions are drawn from the analysis of spatial and temporal trends in direct losses from natural hazards using SHELDUSTM data from 1960 through 2009. Loss data are adjusted for inflation, population, and wealth to capture both trends in total losses and per capita losses. The loss data are then compared to disaster-related federal government and private insurance expenditures.
Keywords: natural hazards; losses; hazard mitigation; United States; severe weather; climate change; resilience
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [2812 KB, Updated Version, uploaded 19 December 2011 15:34 CET]
The original version is still available [2750 KB, uploaded 14 November 2011 14:11 CET]

Export to BibTeX |

MDPI and ACS Style

Gall, M.; Borden, K.A.; Emrich, C.T.; Cutter, S.L. The Unsustainable Trend of Natural Hazard Losses in the United States. Sustainability 2011, 3, 2157-2181.

AMA Style

Gall M, Borden KA, Emrich CT, Cutter SL. The Unsustainable Trend of Natural Hazard Losses in the United States. Sustainability. 2011; 3(11):2157-2181.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gall, Melanie; Borden, Kevin A.; Emrich, Christopher T.; Cutter, Susan L. 2011. "The Unsustainable Trend of Natural Hazard Losses in the United States." Sustainability 3, no. 11: 2157-2181.

Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert