Record-Breaking Natural Disaster Occurrences Cost US Over $32 B

Residents in Joplin, MO after a massive tornado ravaged the town May 22, 2011.

The all-too-exciting Iowa caucuses, yesterday, left me wondering about a lot of things. The biggest (and not the only) question I was left wondering was how these candidates got people to vote for them when all they talk about is the same stuff. If Romney or Santorum become president, we can be certain that the concerns that stem from natural disasters will not be addressed for the next four years.

Out of all of the problems the world is facing, we’re still stuck talking about abortions, illegal immigrants, black people on welfare and debt (here’s a good look at how the issue of debt has been blown out of proportion)?

The battle between the far right and the far left is always over whether or not climate change is man-made. Republicans want to prove climate change is not man-made (without evidence or studies) while leftists want to prove climate change is man-made as to make us feel guilty and buy into potentially liberty-stifling carbon taxes.

To Republicans and Democrats it’s all about the blame game. It’s all about proving the other side is out to get the other side when in reality, both sides are set on destroying each other which will ultimately lead to them destroying themselves and the country.

But both sides refuse to take steps in the right direction. They refuse to take action in preventing the increased amount of natural disasters we’ve been experiencing. 2011 was a ground-breaking and earth-shattering year in terms of natural disasters.

From the floods in North Dakota to the droughts and fires in Texas—The worst the state has seen since they started record-taking—2011 was a year we’d all like to put behind us. But that’s just the thing, putting this behind us will only lead to the problem worsening. It doesn’t matter who is at fault. All that matters is that we have to do something about this.

Texas wildfire and a firefighter

*Here’s a look a some stunning photos, courtesy of

It comes down to saving lives. And to those business-oriented people out there, the lack of natural disaster preparedness is leading to a record number of insurance claims. This influx in natural disasters is costing us a lot of money.

In 2011, property/casualty industries payed over $32 billion in claims. The United States also set a record in the declaration of federal disasters.

Weather prediction agencies and insurance companies alike are predicting 2012 to be more costly and disastrous than 2011. They think the trend of extreme weather disasters is ticking upwards.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a new web tool set up called extreme weather mapping. Their researchers found that in 2011, there were over 2,900 record-breaking natural disasters that occurred in the US. In the summer of 2011, Oklahoma became the hottest state in US history. Oklahoma had not felt that kind of strain on their environment since the early 1930s, the Dust Bowl era.

People may not think natural disasters affect them, but that’s always true until it happens to them. Take North Dakota for instance. Local tax payers will foot much of the $30 million it took for their government to fix two schools damaged by floods in Minot, North Dakota. A combination of heavy spring rains, warm weather and melting ice led to the worst floods the area has seen in over 130 years—yet another record.

*Here is a link describing the cost behind the Joplin, MO tornado: $3 billion.

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