Natural Disasters Cost $91 Billion in 2018

Natural Disasters Cost $91 Billion in 2018

Terray Sylvester

The U.S. experienced 14 natural disasters that cost at least $1 billion each in 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday.

Overall, weather and climate disasters did $91 billion in damage and killed at least 247 people last year.

“These costs are enormous. If we really continue to sustain costs like this going forward, many elements of the way we’ve managed resources in society are just not financially sustainable,” Solomon Hsiang, a public policy professor at the University of California at Berkeley, told The Washington Post. “We are spending huge amounts of money on disaster relief … We’re always responding to a disaster by picking up the pieces after they occur.”

The number of billion-dollar disasters doubled in the last five years compared to the period between 1980 and 2013, NOAA said, and experts expect the trend to continue as the climate warms.