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Report: Society Needs to Flip Its Disaster Spending

For every $1 spent on disaster resilience, $5 in future expenses are saved.
June 12, 2018

Communities are spending money on disasters at the wrong time: after the damage has been done, not before.

A new report from Zurich North America reveals that for every $1 spent on disaster resilience, $5 in future expenses are saved following disasters like floods and hurricanes. Despite these findings, the report says communities continue to spend money after disasters occur and underfund proactive mitigation efforts. "Where money is invested on prevention, it typically goes to protecting physical structures rather than more cost-effective risk management such as environmental planning," says the insurer.

Kathleen Savio, CEO of Zurich North America, says, "Coming off 2017 with three major hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, and Maria — and what we just saw last week with subtropical storm Alberto, our findings are grounded in the perspective that while hazards are natural, disasters are not." She adds that human choices increase the damage after catastrophe.

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