US Hurricane Season: The Calm Before the Storm?

The Wrath & Costs of Extreme Weather: Decades of Destruction

shutterstock_649593Our friends at the University of North Carolina (UNC) shared the illuminating infographic in this post with us, and asked us to share it with you. So grab the kids in your life, take a few minutes, and talk to your kids about climate change and the costs of storms. Use this great inforgraphic to help get the facts and figures straight.

A “calm” in the number of catastrophic hurricanes to hit the United States in recent seasons has given many a false sense of security when it comes to storms. As Adam Levenson, Community Manager for the Masters of Public Management at UNC shared with us: “While the 2014 hurricane season has been strangely quiet, this info graphic serves as a reminder of the extreme consequences of climate change.”

Take some time and have a close look at this infographic. It looks at the past decade. While we haven’t (fortunately) had a hurricane ranked over a category 3 since 2005, the destruction over the past 10 years HAS been catastrophic and has cost over $310 billion. A variety of reasons comes into play, not least of which is storm surge, ocean temperatures and sea level rise, three factors attributed to climate change impacts, which turned Superstorm Sandy into the deadly, costly and destructive storm that those of us on the East coast suffered from and continue to suffer from.

October 29th is the 2 year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Look closely at the infographic and at the 10 cities that are most vulnerable and “overdue” for a hurricane. Consider that the federal government spends only $1 on reducing disaster damages for ever $6 it spends on disaster recovery and that local ordinances and the return on investment for reducing and preparing for disasters is very significant.

As the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy is upon us, we think this info graphic is a great conversation starter, and one that we all need to start having with local, regional, state and national officials. Climate change is here, now and happening. We must not only try to mitigate the causes, but we need to prepare for the impacts and become less vulnerable to what’s in store for us. The old adage “penny saved, pound foolish” comes to mind. Talk to your kids, share this wonderful info graphic, and let us what they think.

Brought to you by the UNC School of Government’s Online Master of Public Administration Program


Climate Mama

The infographic was created by MPA@UNC, the online format of the UNC School of Government’s master of public administration program

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2 Responses to US Hurricane Season: The Calm Before the Storm?

  1. Leigh says:

    There are some very startling facts on this graphic. I actually did not know how many people died during Hurricane Katrina and do not think many do.

    • Harriet says:

      Agreed.. We forget quickly and need to work on building up resiliency as we will face hurricanes and superstorms and don’t seem to have taken to heart what happened and put into practice safety nets.

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