This video developed by ACM SigHPC and the SC Conference outlines the importance of accurate weather modeling in saving lives and reducing damage caused by extreme weather events. The Tables and data come from

Letson, D., D.S. Sutter, and J.K. Lazo, 2007: The economic value of hurricane forecasts: An overview and research needs.Natural Hazards Review, 8, 78-86, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2007)8:3(78).

Newman, Andy. 2012. “Hurricane Sandy Vs. Hurricane Katrina.” The New York Times, November 27, sec. City Room.


Affected group Examples of potential benefits of improved hurricane forecasts  
Individual Reduced expenses of unnecessary evacuations (gas, time, hotels, etc.)
Value of reduced avoidable net property damage (paid out of pocket by individual) 1
Value of reduced health risks (reduced morbidity and mortality) 3
Value to the individual from altruistic concern for other members of family or community 3
Value of lost personal time (vacation time or leisure time)
Business Value of reduced risk exposure (i.e., risk aversion) 4
Value of reduced property damage 1
Value of reductions in lost business
Society Value of reduced costs of making insurance payouts 1
Value of avoided damage to infrastructure (roads, public utilities, etc.) 1
Value of reduced public expenditures on hurricane emergency responses and evacuations 2
Value of reduced expenditures on emergency assistance, damages, and public health costs

1 – The average annual impact of Hurricane damages in the continental United States was about $4.8 billion (1995 US$). Estimated cost of Katrina $148B, Sandy $71B
2 – Some studies estimate that the cost of hurricane evacuation is as high as $1 million per mile of evacuated coastline. In reality cost vary with hurricane strength
3 – Deaths from Katrina 1833, Sandy 200
4 – Insurance losses from Katrina $48.7B Sandy >$16B