Why Australia should be more prepared for extreme weather

A climate resilience strategy for the Caribbean 

The back-to-back category 5 hurricanes that led to heart wrenching human suffering and damages is clear evidence that the Caribbean is becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters.

The economic impact of disasters in the Caribbean is magnified by the small size of these island economies. Take, for example, the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the United States in 2004. With damages and losses estimated at US$160 billion, it accounted for only about one per cent of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP). By contrast, the damages inflicted on Dominica by Hurricane Maria in 2017 exceeded 200 per cent of the island’s GDP…


Storm-o-nomics: Why Australia should be more prepared for extreme weather

Townsville residents are cleaning up after recent flooding. Credit: AAP

Another Australian summer has been marked by disasters triggered by extreme weather. Some came out of the blue, like the Townsville floods. Others unfolded gradually, like the drought afflicting much of eastern Australia.  But there’s one characteristic our natural disasters have in common: their high price tag when compared with the rest of the world.

The World Disasters Report 2018, prepared by the Red Cross, found Australia was ranked 10th in the world for the cost of damage caused by disasters between 2008 and 2017. It estimated our disaster damage bill over that decade to be a hefty $US27 billion ($38 billion).

A separate study by London-based charity Christian Aid rated Australia’s lingering drought as the world’s seventh most costly weather-related disaster of 2018 (between US$5.8 and $9 billion)…


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