Core Logic® 2011 Natural Hazard Risk Summary And Analysis
CoreLogic® 2011Natural Hazard RiskSummary and AnalysisHoward Botts, PhDWei Du, PhDBrady Foust, PhDThomas Jeffery, PhD
Executive Summary2011 Natural Hazard RiskSummary and AnalysisAs it has been noted by numerous scientists, risk analysts and other forecasters, 201 1proved to be a record-breaking year for natural catastrophes in the United States andaround the world. Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes and various floodingevents caused billions of dollars in property damage, put disaster readiness plans andemergency responders to the test in major U.S. urban areas, and resulted in a significantnumber of lost lives across the country. Now, in addition to reviewing the immediatestructural, geographic and financial impact of the past year’s catastrophic events, it’scrucial to consider notable changes in natural hazard incidents as part of a longer-termperspective and evaluate the implications of these trends.One of the most noteworthy statistics to emerge from this annual natural hazard reviewis that 201 was the most expensive and the deadliest hurricane season for the U.S. since 12008. Though only three named Atlantic storms made landfall, they caused at least acombined $8 billion in damage, primarily from flooding. In addition, the 201 tornado 1season was the third most active since 1980. The 1,559 storms to date this year resultedin the deaths of 552 people, which amount to the combined total number of casualtiesover the previous ten years.While the 201 wildfire season continued the trend of having fewer but larger wildfires, 1there was a significant geographic shift in home losses over the past year from California,which had a cooler and wetter-than-average fire season, to the drought-affected states ofTexas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. In fact, total burned wildfire acreage in California wasdown 90 percent in 2010-201 compared to 2007-2008. At the same time, the Wallow 1fire in Arizona burned 469,000 acres and was the largest fire in the state’s history.Also important to note is that two non-western U.S. earthquakes occurred this year inVirginia and Oklahoma – events that startled many residents who believed earthquakesto be strictly a far west U.S. phenomenon. Though in reality earthquake activity in 2011mirrored the long-running trend of quake concentration in the western U.S., whereunderlying geology and plate tectonics generate a more active seismic zone, the twounexpected events in the Midwest and Northeast caused a considerable stir amonghomeowners, insurers and many others affected by the quakes.The CoreLogic Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis provides an overview of themost significant catastrophic natural hazard events that took place in 201 as well as a 1,brief analysis of potential risk in the coming year and the implications of unexpectedchanges in natural hazard frequency, intensity and geographic patterns.
CoreLogic® 2011 Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis HURRICANES Year in Review This year was the most expensive and deadliest hurricane season since 2008. While onlySNAPSHOT three of the 18 named Atlantic Ocean storms struck the U.S. (Hurricane Irene, TropicalWhile the direct impact Storm Lee and Tropical Storm Don), those storms resulted in at least $8 billion inon New York City from damage and 45 people killed. Much of the property damage associated with the stormsHurricane Irene (a was a result of flooding from intense rainfall as opposed to wind or storm surge flooding.Category 1 hurricane) Overall, 201 was the seventh most active hurricane season to date in terms of property 1was ultimately minimal, and life losses since tracking began in 1851.there are some importantlessons to be learned from Hurricane irene: The largest and most destructive storm of 201 Hurricane Irene, 1,this event. The evacuation made landfall over coastal North Carolina on August 27. The storm tracked northwardorder, affecting 370,000 along the Mid-Atlantic coast (moving over Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Newresidents, suggests the Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont) causingcity lacks confidence torrential rainfall and flooding across much of the northeastern U.S. Especially hard hitin the flood controlinfrastructure. In fact, were New York, New Jersey and Vermont, which experienced extensive flood damage.New York City does not According to the National Climatic Data Center, the total cost of the hurricane was morehave sufficient capacity than $7.3 billion, of which the associated flood damage was about $2 billion. Comparingto defend itself from the flood damage over the past several years with the flood damage from Hurricane Irene (seestorm surge associated Figure 1), the flood loss from this single hurricane ranks as the second most expensive inwith catastrophic this region.hurricane events, whichwould be a storm Annual Flood Damage in Northeast and Hurricane Ireneclassified as Category 2 or 5greater. With major tunneland subway entrancesonly four feet above sealevel, even a modest 4hurricane-driven stormsurge would result in Hurricane Irene Flood Loss in $billions NC, VA, MD, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VTsignificant inundation andcould easily lead to billions 3in economic loss. 2 1 0 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 Water Year Figure 1 - Comparison of Historical Flood Losses and Irene (1999 hurricane flood losses were the result of Hurricane Floyd, with an estimated $4.5 billion in damages and 56 people killed.)Proprietary and confidential. This material may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission. 1
CoreLogic® 2011 Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis FLOODING Year in ReviewSNAPSHOT In 201 there were a number of climate disaster events across the U.S. that each resulted 1,The U.S. Army Corps of in flood losses exceeding $1 billion, according to data from the National Climate DataEngineers opened the Center (NCDC):Morganza spillway in ► Tropical Storm Lee, September 201 caused an estimated $1 billion in flood 1,Louisiana on May 14, 2011 damage, with particularly severe impact on the states of Pennsylvania and New York.to divert record-highMississippi River water ► Hurricane Irene, August 201 caused an estimated $2 billion in flood damage (out 1,levels away from densely of $7.3 billion in total damage).populated metro areaslike Baton Rouge and ► In the summer of 201 the melting of an above-average snowpack across the 1,New Orleans. The spillway northern Rocky Mountains combined with abnormally high precipitation causedwas intended to relieve the Missouri and Souris rivers to swell beyond their banks across the upperpressure on downstream Midwest. The resulting flooding caused an estimated $2 billion in losses.levees, sparing hundredsof thousands of homes ► In the spring and summer of 201 record-breaking rainfall in the Ohio Valley (nearly 1,as well as numerous oil 300 percent over normal precipitation amounts) combined with melting snowpackrefineries and chemical caused historical flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Flood lossplants along the estimates from the Mississippi River inundation are estimated to be $4 billion.Mississippi River.CoreLogic analysis atthe time showed that Moving Average Trend Analysis of U.S. Flood Lossesmany homes in otherwise $50.00low-risk zones weresuddenly in the path of $45.00 U.S. Flood Loss in $billionsfloodwaters and that a Actual Flood Losses $40.00total of 21,272 homes were Moving Average Trend of Flood Lossesat risk of being fully or $35.00partially inundated by the $30.00floodwaters flowing downfrom the Atchafalaya $25.00Basin. Of the more than20,000 homes located $20.00in the overall potential $15.00Atchafalaya flood area,4,528 homes are located $10.00outside of FederalEmergency Management $5.00Agency (FEMA) defined $0.00flood zones and are, 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020therefore, not requiredto maintain flood Water Yearinsurance policies. Figure 3 – U.S. Flood Loss Trend AnalysisProprietary and confidential. This material may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission. 3
CoreLogic® 2011 Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis TORNADOES Year in Review As of December 1, a total of 1,559 confirmed tornadoes have been reported in the U. S.,SNAPSHOT making 201 the third most active tornado season since 1980 (see Figure 4 below). The 1The “2011 Super Outbreak” number of tornadoes in 201 was also significantly above the yearly average of 1,125 1occurred between April (1980 - 2010). In particular, April represented a huge anomaly with 762 confirmed25 and April 28, and has touchdowns, 200 over the previous record.been identified as thelargest tornado outbreakever recorded with 336 Tornadoes by Yearconfirmed tornadoesspread across the 2,000South, Midwest and the 1,800Northeast. In addition, 1,600April 27 was the single 1,400deadliest day since1925, with 324 tornado- 1,200related deaths. The most 1,000destructive storm of the 800outbreak, an EF5 tornado,struck Tuscaloosa, Ala., 600destroyed a significant 400part of the town and 200resulted in 51 deaths. 0Insured loss estimates 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 0 02 4 6 8 10 0 0 0 0for the four-day outbreak 20 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 19 19 20 19 20 20 20range from $3.5 to $5billion, with the Tuscaloosa Figure 4 – Confirmed U.S. Tornadoes by Yeardamage alone estimatedin excess of $2 billion. What really set the 201 tornado season apart from previous years was the number of 1Not quite a month later, casualties, with a total of 552 as of December 1. The total number of deaths in 201 1on May 22, another EF5 alone is equal to the previous ten years of tornado-related deaths combined. Given thattornado struck Joplin, we live in the era of Doppler radar, which has lead to earlier and more accurate tornadoMo., plowing a mile-wide warnings, this number is exceptionally extraordinary. The direct urban hits by tornadoespath directly through in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Joplin, Mo. greatly contributed to the exceedingly high numberthe southern part of thecity, killing 161 people of casualties.and causing tremendousdamage to the city. Themost recent insurance Implications and Projectionspayout estimates for the In most years, with the exception of large catastrophe losses from earthquakes orJoplin tornado are in hurricanes, wind and hail damage from cyclonic storms are major contributors toexcess of $2.2 billion. insurance claim losses. In the past, companies were confident they had an accurate underwriting knowledge of the areas, such as “tornado alley,” that resulted in the greatest claims. During the past few years, however, property, casualty and commercial insurers have begun to realize they need to carefully reevaluate this perception. For many companies, the result of actuarial analysis of claims loss against granular damaging winds and hail geospatial databases has led to a considerable expansion of areas now considered higher risk for wind and hail claims loss.Proprietary and confidential. This material may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission. 5
CoreLogic® 2011 Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis Implications and Projections California Wildﬁre Acres A review of past fire seasons indicates 1600 that wildfire activity often follows a cyclical pattern of increase and decrease 1400 Thousands of Acres due to changing seasonal weather 1200 patterns. Colder and wetter weather 1000 in areas prone to wildfires is often the precursor to a dramatic increase 800 in the number and size of wildfires in 600 subsequent years, as a result of greater 400 than normal vegetation growth during times of increased precipitation. It 200 would not be unreasonable to expect 0 parts of California to see a similar trend 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 in the next few years, with wildfire acreage increasing dramatically from the current historic lows to higher, moreFigure 7 – California WildfireAcres Burned 2006 - 2011 typical levels. In addition, persistent and intensifying drought conditions are forecast for an even larger section of the U.S. for the coming year, extending in a continuous band from Arizona to South Carolina and as far north as Kansas and Missouri. Much of the increase in wildfire activity for 201 in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico was the result of the persistent 1 drought conditions in those areas (see Figure 8 below), which is expected to intensify and spread in the early part of 2012. U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook Drought Tendency During the Valid Period Valid November 17, 2011 - February 29, 2012 Released November 17, 2011 Some Improvement Improvement Some Improvement Improvement Development Development KEY: Persistence Drought to persist or No Drought intensify Posted/Predicted Drought ongoing, some Depicts large-scale trends based on subjectively derived probabilities guided improvement by short- and long-range statistical and dynamical forecasts. Short-term events Drought likely to improve, -- such as individual storms -- cannot be accurately forecast more than a few days in advance. impacts ease Use caution for applications -- such as crops -- that can be affected by such events. "Ongoing" drought areas are approximated from the Drought Monitor (D1 to D4 intensity). Drought development For weekly drought updates, see the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. NOTE: the green improvement likely areas imply at least a 1-category improvement in the Drought Monitor intensity levels, but do not necessarily imply drought elimination. Figure 8 – U.S. Seasonal Drought OutlookProprietary and confidential. This material may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission. 7
CoreLogic® 2011 Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis Despite the seemingly unexpected 201 earthquake events in Virginia and Oklahoma, 1 seismic activity has typically been concentrated in the west over the past 15 years, as shown in Figure 1 This is a long-running trend reflecting the underlying geology and 1. plate tectonics of the western U.S. Total U.S. Earthquakes by State (past 15 years) 20 18 # of Earthquakes 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 ID V R A T A T Y Z O L R IL IN E O M H K TX VA IA LA S E H Y SD TN V A M M U M N A W W N O O A W N O N C C M N Figure 11 – Total U.S. Earthquakes by State Over the Past 15 Years One noteworthy finding in an analysis of historical U.S. earthquake data is that even though Virginia has only experienced two quakes and New York has faced just one in the past 15 years, both states recorded incidents that produced fairly high readings on the Richter scale. In terms of total quakes and magnitudes, however, the West still far exceeds the eastern U.S. in earthquake hazard events (see Figure 12 below). Maximum Magnitude of Earthquakes (past 15 years) 8.0 Magnitude (Richter Scale) 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 A A V VA T O ID Y Y R TX R T IN K M O Z IL E IA S H V E SD TN L H LA A M M U M N A W W N O O A W N N O C C M N Figure 12 – Maximum Magnitude of Earthquakes over the Past 15 Years Implications and Projections The two instances of non-western U.S. earthquakes this year in Virginia and Oklahoma surprised many residents who previously thought earthquakes to be primarily a western U.S. phenomenon. As a result, insurance companies throughout the Northeast and parts of the Midwest that offer earthquake policies have experienced a significant increase in inquiries relating to earthquake insurance.Proprietary and confidential. This material may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission. 9