Home, business owners must guard from wind threats
by our readers
Jan 08, 2013 | 2372 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Re “Our warming planet: We need tougher building codes, better roads for climate change’s future” (Editorial, Dec. 26):

After a storm, the power grid, building construction and other related conditions are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. But the increased number and severity of “wind events” nationally should prompt a re-examination in every community.

Verisk Analytics conducted an analysis using our severe-storm computer models and compared them to our database of millions of commercial buildings we survey to examine factors that may improve — or worsen — a building’s wind resistance or damageability. Our analysis shows roughly 38 percent of the total U.S. insured property value is in coastal counties.

In New York, 62 percent of insured value is along the coast. In Florida, that number skyrockets to almost 80 percent — but it is by no means exclusively a coastal phenomenon. Eighteen of the top 20 catastrophic events in the United States involved wind (13 hurricanes, four tornadoes, and a severe wind and hail event). The remaining two that did not involve a wind peril were the Northridge earthquake and the attacks of 9/11. Compounding the problem is the overall storm trend. Of those 18 wind events, 15 occurred since 2000.

Communities and individuals are always concerned about fire, which continues to be the most common cause of property loss. However, it is now evident that property owners, the construction industry, municipalities responsible for local building codes, and others all need to become more proactive in addressing the threat of wind and storm events.

Mory Katz
Vice President
Verisk Insurance Solutions
Jersey City, N.J.
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