underlayment, and about 12,000 nails to attach the shingles (ca. 6 nails per shingle).
http://www.disastersafety.org/fortified; J. Rochman, personal communication, January 20, 2011.
Patterns of Disaster Losses to Guide Resilience Investments
Examining historic patterns of disaster losses provides some sense of the magnitude of the need to become more disaster resilient. In addition, the geographic patterns of disaster losses—human fatalities, property losses, and crop losses—illustrate where the impacts are the greatest, and where there could be challenges in responding to and recovering from disasters. Geographic patterns of losses, when compared with available data on housing, population growth, income level, and types of natural hazards, allow understanding of some of the driving factors of exposure and vulnerability to hazards and disasters (see also Chapter 2), and can lead more readily to appropriate paths to increase resilience. This kind of analysis also reveals gaps in our knowledge of natural, built, and socioeconomic systems—including their interrelationships—and is useful in prioritizing research needs. The following sections review disaster losses in terms of U.S. and global tendencies; geographic variation in economic losses, human losses, and patterns of exposure; and population growth. Each section draws upon available data and also presents evidence for gaps in data collection, analysis, and availability.
U.S. and Global Patterns in Economic Losses
Because local and national patterns in disaster losses occur within a larger global context, a useful way to assess the current state of resilience in the United States is to examine the magnitude of global events and losses. As estimated by Munich RE (2012), the costliest year on record for natural disasters around the world (based on preliminary global data for the year) was 2011, with more than $380 billion in losses (of which only $105 billion was insured), exceeding the previous record set in 2005. The earthquakes in New Zealand, the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and flooding in Australia and Thailand all contributed to these new levels of loss. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami combined were the most costly events globally in 2011. In the United States, estimated losses were $64 billion, of which $35.8 billion were insured losses (Munich RE, 2012). The snows of February, severe storms in April and May which brought many tornadoes, the extensive flooding in the Midwest and Great Plains, wildfires in Texas and the Southwest, and Hurricane Irene impacting much of the U.S. East Coast all contributed to the total (see also Figure 1.1).
Establishing the tendencies in economic losses provides the baseline against which we can monitor losses avoided due to improved resilience. Data that have been collected in a consistent manner are essential for measuring