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A Look Back: Three Things We Learned in 2022

As of mid-October, the U.S. has been hit with 15 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, according to scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. This is a record eighth-consecutive year where the U.S. experienced ten or more billion-dollar disasters. These disasters have included: ten severe storms, two tropical cyclones, one flooding event, one combined drought and heat wave and one regional wildfire event.

Total loss due to property and infrastructure damage (as of mid-October) is up to $29.3 billion—but does not yet include the costs for Hurricane Ian, the Western Wildfires and Hurricane Fiona, which may push the 2022 total closer to $100 billion, a total reached in four of the last five years.

Although severe storms have caused the highest number of billion-dollar disaster events, the distribution of damage from U.S. Billion-dollar disaster events is dominated by tropical cyclone losses. Tropical cyclones have caused the most damage and have the highest average event cost. Drought, severe storms and inland flooding have also caused considerable damage based on the list of billion-dollar events.

With these staggering statistics, there's no question that your business or property could face a weather-related disaster in the coming years. Below are the three weather events from 2022 and the tips you can use to prepare your property in 2023.

Tornado Alley might be shifting east. Studies done in both 2018 and 2022 concluded that large tornado outbreaks had shifted geographically when considering the years from 1989 to 2019 vs. 1950 to 1980. The study revealed that tornadoes have been shifting to the Southeast in recent years compared to the earlier records. This year, the two billion dollar tornado outbreaks were Southeast of the traditional Tornado Alley.

Even properties not located in Tornado Alley should prepare for severe weather. Tornadoes can develop quickly and can be unpredictable. Working with others at your property to create an emergency plan can save valuable time. Preparedness can help keep you safe if a tornado hits your facility, but it may not be able to protect your property against the strength of these storms. Knowing the steps to take after a tornado are just as important.

Download our tornado preparedness guide here.

Significant rainfall can disrupt the best-laid plans. This summer, parts of Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky were drenched by substantial rainfall over a short period, with some areas recording 14 inches of rainfall in merely hours. The extreme rainfall caused flash flooding, damaging homes and businesses extensively.

Flash flooding is unpredictable, but with a pre-loss plan, you can rest assured that there is a plan to get you back to business as quickly as possible after a flood event.

Determine your flood risk here.

Predicting a hurricane's path is difficult. Even with technology constantly improving, hurricanes are still hard to predict. Hurricane Ian was no exception. Early storm predictions had Ian landing directly in the Tampa Bay area; instead, it hit some 75 miles south two days after those predictions. As Ian shifted course, it intensified dramatically—and fast.

Knowing that a hurricane's path and intensity can change with only a few days' notice, you should have a plan in place early. From keeping an up-to-date emergency kit to communications plans and disaster recovery, properties should have a plan in place before the storm hits.

Download our hurricane preparedness guide here.

Here at ServiceMaster DSI, we believe prevention and preparation are the best tools for staying safe and avoiding property damage. ServiceMaster DSI has developed the industry's Highest Priority Response Program. Every aspect of our program is engineered with the client's interest in mind, from individual property preparation and planning to established lines of communication regarding potential threats. Contact us today to get started.