"In the United States each year, natural hazards cause hundreds of deaths and cost billions of dollars in disaster aid, disruption of commerce, and destruc¬tion of homes and critical infrastructure. Although the number of lives lost to natural hazards each year generally has declined, the economic cost of major disaster response and recovery continues to rise. Each decade, property damage from natural hazards events doubles or triples. The United States is second only to Japan in economic damages resulting from natural disasters. A major goal of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to reduce the vulner¬ability of the people and areas most at risk from natural hazards. Working with partners throughout all sectors of society, the USGS provides information, products, and knowledge to help build more resil¬ient communities."
Fact Sheet 2007-3009
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/