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PUBLICATIONID : 7239
PUBLICATIONTYPE : 1
TYPE : Article
TITLE : How accurate are disaster loss data? The case of US flood damage
ORIG_TITLE : How accurate are disaster loss data? The case of US flood damage
AUTHOR : Downton, MW and RA Pielke
FIRST_AUTHOR : Downton, MW and RA Pielke
AUTHOR_COUNT : 1
ADDRESS : Natl Ctr Atmospher Res, Environm & Societal Impacts Grp, Boulder, CO 80307 USA; Univ Colorado, Ctr Sci & Technol Policy Res, Boulder, CO 80309 USA
PUBLISHER : SPRINGER
FIRSTAUTHOREMPLOYER : 3
ABBREV_JOURNAL : Nat. Hazards
BEGINPAGE : 211
ENDPAGE : 228
VOLUME : 35
ISSUE : 2
PUBLISH_DATE : JUN
YEAR : 2005
URL : http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/2005.31.pdf
REFEREED : 1
RESOURCE : WOS:000229477600002
CITATION : 56
DEPT : CSTPR
LAST_UPDATED : 2017-05-24 12:54:16
ISSN : 0921-030X
IDS : 931HY
DOI : 10.1007/s11069-004-4808-4
ABSTRACT : Policy makers need accurate disaster loss data for decisions about disaster assistance, policy evaluation, and scientific research priorities. But loss estimation is difficult in a disaster situation, and initial loss estimates are seldom evaluated in comparison with actual costs. This paper uses the example of historical flood damage data in the U.S. to evaluate disaster loss data. It evaluates the accuracy of historical flood damage estimates from two federal agencies. The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) has compiled annual flood loss estimates for each state since 1955. Comparison of the NWS data with similar estimates from five state emergency management agencies reveals substantial disagreement between estimates from different sources. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began in the 1990s to systematically collect damage estimates and cost data associated with its disaster assistance programs. Comparison of early damage estimates with actual expenditures in a California flood disaster reveals large errors in some estimates for individual counties, but no statistically significant tendency to underestimate or overestimate. Positive and negative errors tend to average out and the total damage estimate for the state approximates the final expenditures. Both comparisons indicate that damage estimates for small events or local jurisdictions often are extremely inaccurate. On the other hand, estimates aggregated over large areas or long time periods appear to be reasonably reliable; that is, this study finds that independent estimates for events with losses greater than $500 million disagree by less than 40%. The paper suggests ways of interpreting and using such loss estimates to reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation.
KEYWORDS : disaster loss; loss estimation; flood damage; cost estimates
AREA : Geology; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; Water Resources
FIRST_AUTHOR_EMAIL : downton@ucar.edu; pielke@cires.colorado.edu
PUBLICATION : NATURAL HAZARDS
PLACE : NEW YORK
LANGUAGE : English
SERIAL : 7239
PAGES : 211-228
APPROVED : yes
SERIES_VOLUME_NUMERIC : 1
ONLINE_PUBLICATION : no
VERSION : 1
FIRST_AUTHOR_ADDRESS : Downton, MW (reprint author), Natl Ctr Atmospher Res, Environm & Societal Impacts Grp, POB 3000, Boulder, CO 80307 USA.
AUTHOR_OTHER_FORM : Downton, MW; Pielke, RA
REFERENCES_NUM : 23
REFERENCE : Changnon S. A., 1996, GREAT FLOOD 1993 CAU; Changnon SD, 2003, B AM METEOROL SOC, V84, P1231, DOI 10.1175/BAMS-84-9-1231; Downton M. W., 2005, Natural Hazards Review, V6, P13, DOI 10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2005)6:1(13); DOWNTON MW, 2005, NAT HAZARDS REV, V2, P157; *FEMA, 1993, FEMA994DRWI INT HAZ; *FEMA, 1998, PUBL ASS PROGR EFF E; GUIMARAES P, 1993, REV REG STUD, V2, P97; Heinz Center, 2000, HIDD COSTS COAST HAZ; MALNIC E, 1998, LOS ANGELES TIM 0225, pA3; MALNIC E, 1997, LOS ANGELES TIM 1106, pA1; *MCLAUGHL WAT ENG, 1998, STAT RIV REH FLOODPL; MEADE C, 2003, ASSESSING FEDERAL RE; *MI DEP STAT POL, 1999, MICH HAZ AN; MONTANE V, 1999, GOVERNORS OFFICE EME; *NRC, 1999, IMP NAT DISAST FRAM; *NWS, 1950, CLIM DAT NAT SUMM; *NWS, 2004, FLOOD LOSS COMP FLOO; Pielke R., 1997, HURRICANES THEIR NAT; PIELKE RA, 2000, EL NINO 1997 1998 CL, P172; Pielke RA, 2000, J CLIMATE, V13, P3625, DOI 10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013<3625:PADFTI>2.0.CO;2; Downton MW, 2002, FLOOD DAMAGE US 1926; *USACE, 1983, ARM CORPS ENG ANN FL; *WI DEP NAT RES, 1993, FLOODS 1993 WISC EXP
PUBLISHER_ADDRESS : 233 SPRING STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10013 USA
COUNT : 1
VETTED : 1