Hurricanes: Damaged by Debt
Growing up in Memphis I remember going into the halls of my elementary school, sitting on the floor and facing the walls. I remember going into a closet in my house when the sirens starting going off. I was fortunate enough to never know true damage done by the tornados I was sheltering from.
Many Americans and other people around the world are not as fortunate as most of are. People lose their businesses, their houses, and their possessions. Cost of damage is increasing every year as the severity of these storms grows.
Over the past few decades we have seen natural disasters hit frequently. While this is not something new or novel, the severity and damage caused by these disasters is. Five of the top 6 costliest Atlantic hurricanes ever occurred in the past 10 years:
- Hurricane Katrina: $108 billion (2005)
- Hurricane Sandy: $68 billion (2012)
- Hurricane Ike: $37.5 billion (2008)
- Hurricane Wilma: $29.3 billion (2005)
- Hurricane Ivan: $23.3 billion (2004)
But this isn’t the most alarming of the statistics. 1,833 people died in Hurricane Katrina and the flooding surrounding it. 138 died in Hurricane Sandy. 195 dead from Ike, 62 from Wilma, and 121 from Ivan. That is 2,349 deaths claimed from five hurricanes.
Last fall, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Phillipines. In the Phillipines alone, the death toll was over 6000.
Can we afford this type damage? What should we be doing to prevent or prepare for disasters like this? Sound off in the comments.
Leor Reef and Matt Seedorff are seniors majoring in Journalism at The George Washington University.