Thursday, January 9, 2014

Was 2013 a Mild Disaster Year?

Happy New Year.  There have been a series of recent articles about the scope of disasters in 2013.  Munich Re has reported that natural disasters in 2013 amounted to $31 billion in insured losses.  According to Munich Re's analysis, 2013 was the first year in 20 years that the world's costliest natural disasters were not in the US.  Instead, Europe suffered the most expensive insured disasters.  Of course, the deadliest was Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  While there was $10 million in damages, only $700 million was insured.  In the US, the North Atlantic had the fewest hurricanes since 1982.

So what does this all mean?  Do we sit back and relax?  I don't think so.  This week Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York met with Vice President Joe Biden and announced renewed programs in New York to develop resiliency to natural disasters.  These efforts must continue as we face the effects of climate change, increased populations along the coasts and in earthquake zones, and the aging of the infrastructure in City's like New York.  So while Mother Nature has been reasonably quiet in the US (although those who were hit with tornadoes and the recent deep freeze would likely dispute that premise), important work goes on.  Savvy politicians and smart risk managers are working toward hardening and securing vulnerable assets.

We must not let down our guard.  This is the time to move forward with many of the efforts discussed in earlier posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment