September 1, 2019According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), in 2017, the U.S. suffered 16 natural disasters costing $1 billion or more and totaling over $300 billion in damages. In 2018, there were 14 such disasters. As of July 9, 2019, there were six weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the U.S., including two flooding events and four severe storm events. The 1980–2018 annual average of such events is 6.3 (consumer price adjusted), while the annual average from 2014–2018 has been 12.6.
Research reported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shows that following a disaster, roughly 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen, and 90 percent fail within a year if they can’t resume operations within five days.