Many New Yorkers Say City’s Storm Risk Rising: Swiss Re Survey

October 16, 2013

With Superstorm Sandy’s one-year anniversary approaching, 51 percent of New Yorkers believe that the risk of their city being hit by another powerful storm will increase over the next two decades, according to a recent survey.

The survey, from global reinsurer Swiss Re, also found that many Big Apple residents feel they are already too vulnerable to natural disasters, with 65 percent of the respondents reporting that their homes or areas sustained some degree of damage during last year’s Superstorm Sandy.

“We worked very closely with Mayor Bloomberg’s administration in New York to put together a report launched in June which looked at ways to increase the city’s resilience to climate change and severe weather events,” said Bill Donnell, head of property/casualty in the Americas for Swiss Re.

“This survey, however, shows that people in the city still feel too vulnerable and it’s important that we don’t forget the lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and continue to look for, and implement, ways to increase resilience to major natural disasters.”

Last year natural disasters cost the global economy $160 billion, Donnell said. “Some people question whether we can afford to make our cities more resilient,” he said. “My question to them is can we afford not to?”

The survey was conducted as part of Swiss Re’s 150 years anniversary initiatives to encourage dialogue on how global communities tackle the biggest risks facing them today and in the future. Conducted in partnership with The Gallup Organization – Europe, the survey canvassed nearly 22,000 citizens across 19 markets.

Source: Swiss Re

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