From the hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, to the wildfires that consumed parts of California’s Wine Country, this year has been fraught with catastrophic natural disasters which have uprooted countless Americans from their stable lives. These disasters, also including tornadoes, hail storms, droughts, cyclones and floods, destroyed properties, businesses, communities, cities and United States territories; left families and their pets without shelter, food, utilities and vulnerable to disease; and caused hundreds of deaths and casualties.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that 15 weather and climate disasters in the U.S. have each caused over $1 billion in damages in 2017 alone. These events have resulted in the death of 282 people and have had consequential economic effects in the locations affected. As of October, the costs for the major hurricanes—Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria—are still being calculated. An article from USA Today, however, estimates that Hurricane Harvey will reach at least $190 billion in damages.