A new UN report warns that the economic costs of natural disasters, like the floods experienced in Thailand in 2011, are being drastically underestimated. Our startling finding is that direct losses from floods, earthquakes and drought have been underestimated by at least 50%.
For example, the 2011 Thailand floods affected a number of electronic component manufacturers with Sony and Toyota forced to close regional factories. And while governments bear responsibility for measures to mitigate disasters, Ban warned that the private sector also has a critical role to play. Economic losses from disasters are out of control and can only be reduced in partnership with the private sector which is responsible for 70% to 85% of all investment worldwide in new buildings, industry and small to medium sized enterprises.
Superstorm Sandy, drought-induced crops failures, floods and forest fires all contributed to the costs. Overall the insurance industry estimates that 2012 was the second costliest year in US history for climate-related disasters, with over $139 billion in damages. The storm and flash flooding that hit the GTA on July 8 has set a record for the province’s most expensive natural disaster, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. A GO Train was stranded by floodwaters and cars were abandoned during the126 millimetres of rain recorded at Pearson International Airport.
There’s no estimate yet for the flooding in Alberta in June and July, as cleanup work continues and tabulations are changing almost daily.

BERLIN, Germany - Floods that caused billions of dollars in losses were the world's most expensive natural disasters so far this year, with central Europe being hit hardest, reinsurers Munich Re said on Tuesday. Altogether, natural catastrophes -- also including earthquakes, tornados and heat waves -- caused $45 billion (35 billion euros) in losses in the first half of 2013, well below the 10-year average of $85 billion.
Inland flooding that affected parts of Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia caused about 47 percent of overall global losses and 45 percent of insured losses, said the leading reinsurance company based in Munich, Germany. The deadliest disaster out of 460 recorded "natural hazard events" worldwide was a series of flash floods in northern India and Nepal that killed more than 1,000 people in June after early and exceptionally heavy monsoon rains.
By far the most expensive natural disaster was the river flooding that hit southern and eastern Germany and neighbouring countries in May and June, causing more than $16 billion in damage, most of it in Germany.
Peter Hoeppe, head of Munich Re's Geo Risks Research unit, said in a statement that "it is evident that days with weather conditions that lead to such flooding are becoming more frequent". The second most expensive disaster was a series of severe tornadoes that hit the United States in May, especially a maximum-strength tornado that devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. CALGARY -- The floods that devastated southern Alberta ranked third highest in disaster insurance claims in 2013, according to an international insurer. The combined losses in European and southern Alberta flooding made up about one-third of the cost of all catastrophes in 2013. Flooding in the Calgary area was only a fraction of the damage caused by similar downpours in eastern Europe in May and June of last year.

The global total in insured losses from natural catastrophes in 2013 was $45 billion, down from $81 billion the previous year, the Swiss Re report said. Intel had to cut $1 billion from its quarterly profit projections in the wake of the floods.
The principles of disaster risk reduction must be taught at business schools and become part of the investor’s mind-set.
The US government spent more in 2012 cleaning up after natural disasters than they did on education or health, they said. There were a couple of thick inches of mud on our basement floor and a really horrible smell.
The single largest loss event in North America was extensive flooding in the city of Calgary, Alberta, and surrounding area following six days of torrential rain," the report said.
Our shared mission is to mobilize civil society and galvanize public support to ensure a safe climate future for people and nature, to promote the low-carbon transition of our economies, and to accelerate the adaptation efforts in communities already affected by climate change.

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