In 2018, the United States experienced some of its most devastating weather conditions ever. From raging wildfires to damaging street flooding and record-breaking hurricanes, extreme weather ravaged neighborhoods and cities nationwide. With climate change predicted to be increasingly significant, such extreme weather conditions are expected to continue for years to come.
In 2019, threats from extreme weather are just as likely to occur and could be just as dangerous as they were last year. Help your agency and the communities you serve navigate any weather-related crisis by being prepared. Preparation, including the use of a mass notification system, is the key to positioning yourself for successful crisis management this year and beyond.
A LOOK BACK AT 2018:
Costs and Chaos
The U.S. experienced repeated extreme weather conditions in 2018, including some of the most devastating hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires the nation has ever seen. Between the floodwaters in Boston during the March Nor’easters, California’s largest wildfire ever, and hurricane-flooded homes and communities, disastrous weather played a huge role on last year’s public safety stage.
Hurricanes Florence and Michael top the list, with the two California wildfires (the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire) taking third place. Together, these events cost an astonishing estimated $41-45 billion. Unfortunately, last year’s billion-dollar disasters are not the first the U.S. has seen and certainly will not be the last. According to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, 2018 had 12 billion-dollar disasters, ranking it fourth among years with the most billion-dollar disasters (2011, 2016 and 2017 are the top three).1
The Christian Aid report states that, due to climate change, “extreme weather events will constantly become increasingly common and more extreme.” Let’s take a more in-depth look at the various extreme weather conditions that swept through the U.S. in 2018.
Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the Carolinas for nearly three weeks, from Aug. 31 through Sept. 19. At one point, Florence was classified as a Category 4 storm, with winds reaching a devastating 140 mph. However, it eventually weakened to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall on September 14. Despite being a Category 1 hurricane, it managed to cause significant damage due to its slow movement over land. Such slow movement resulted in the worst flooding that southeast North Carolina and parts of South Carolina had seen in modern history. According to the Christian Aid report, Florence cost an estimated $17 billion in damage.
This extensive White Paper addressing weather preparedness in 2019 is available at the link:
1 https://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/billiondollar-disasters-trending-up; https://www.fema.gov/medialibrary-data/1541781185823-2ae55a276f604e04b68e2748adc95c68/2018NPRRprt20181108v508.pdfRecommend0 recommendationsPublished in