Severe weather tallied over 500 fatalities and more than $165 billion in combined property and crop damage in 2022.
Scientists say it’s only going to get worse.
According to experts who squarely blame man-made climate change, predictions show that these swelling disasters will get more frequent and more costly.
All of which is not good news for Louisiana or its economy. Dr. Loren C. Scott, professor emeritus of economics at Louisiana State University (LSU) and president of Loren C. Scott & Associates, just finished his economic forecast for the state of Louisiana and says the economy is going to get worse before it gets better.
“If you look at a map of the United States and how far the country has come in recovery from the shutdown due to COVID-19, you’ll see that most of the states are 100 percent back or close to it,” he said. “But in Louisiana, we are only 68 percent back as of this past June. That’s the second worst performance in the country.”
Natural Disasters Wreck Havoc on Louisiana’s Economy
Scott blames the five natural disasters that hit Louisiana as the reason the economy hasn’t rebounded like the rest of the nation.
The worst of the natural disasters was Hurricane Ida. In Louisiana alone, an estimated $15 billion in damage was done. Overall, the hurricane caused $65 billion in damage across the affected areas. It was also blamed for 115 fatalities.
Rick Spinrad, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), warned residents to expect more of the same during a recent briefing on the nation’s weather statistics for 2022.
“It is a reality that regardless of where you are in the country, where you call home, you’ve likely experienced a high-impact weather event firsthand,” he said. “Climate change is creating more and more intense extreme events that cause significant damage, and often (sets) off cascading hazards, like intense drought followed by devastating wildfires, followed by dangerous flooding and mudslides, as we’ve seen for example as a consequence of the atmospheric rivers in California right now.”
He added that the disasters are a “wake up call that we must build our resiliency to these types of events to mitigate the damage and the loss of life.”
How to Survive a Natural Disaster in Louisiana
Even with advanced weather science to better predict storm conditions, Mother Nature still holds all the cards. And while violent storms grab all the headlines, more common severe weather like heat waves, heavy rain and lightning can still cause considerable casualties.
What you do long before a natural disaster strikes can tip the balance between life and death. Be weather-ready before and during a natural disaster with these safety tips:
- Browse the NOAA weather and climate resources to monitor and learn more about everything from air quality, droughts, thunderstorms, flooding and dangerous winds.
- Visit the American Red Cross to find directions on preparing for an emergency with their three-step plan: Make a survival kit, create a plan, and keep informed.
- Use their preparedness checklist or download one of their emergency apps.
- Buy one of NOAA’s weather radios, a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service (NWS) office. Purchase one that includes an alarm for severe weather alerts and battery backup in case of a power outage.
- Enable alarms for severe weather alerts in your phone’s notification settings.
After Natural Disasters, Watch Out for Scams
While disasters often bring out the best in people, criminals and scam artists prey on disaster survivors by offering fraudulent services. The FCC published this list of consumer safety tips to help people avoid and report scams after a disaster. If you’ve been scammed and wish to discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please contact us today.