2017 Costliest Weather Year Ever - Reinforces "All Hazards" Energy Emergency Preparedness

Last year set a record for costs incurred as a result of severe weather events according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In all, 2017 storm damage totaled $306 billion due in large part to costs from a number of significant severe weather events. The 2107 amount exceeded the previous record of $215 billion in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katina. NOAA noted that the damages and costs was caused by 16 separate weather events over $1 billion each. This too set a record.

While the three hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Marie) affecting Texas, Florida, the Southeast, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were prominent, NOAA noted severe costs to California and Western States from wildfires, tornadoes and hailstorms affecting the Midwest, severe flooding affecting several states and severe drought causing damage in Montana and the Dakotas. NOAA stated that 2017 had significant severe weather events in six of the seven disaster categories tracked by the agency: drought, flood, freeze, severe storm, tropical cyclone, wildfire and winter storm.

The news reinforces the “all hazards” (natural disasters and human-caused events) approach to energy emergency preparedness advanced by the states, NASEO, and DOE. For more information about the NOAA report visit https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/, and for more information about NASEO’s energy emergency preparedness resources for states please contact Jeff Pillon at jpillon@naose.org.