Sobering New Study Spotlights Estimated Losses from Rising Earthquake Risk

U.S. map showing annualized earthquake loss ratios (2023)

In April, FEMA and the U.S. Geological Survey published an updated version of Hazus Estimated Annualized Earthquake Losses for the United States. This report reveals that earthquake risk—the exposure of people, the built environment, and the economy to earthquake hazards—is significantly higher than in the past, and it continues to rise.

The report provides criteria and methodology for comparing seismic risk across regions. By looking at what is located in earthquake hazard areas and assessing the potential damage from earthquakes, the new study is able to estimate annualized losses, both nationwide and state-by-state. The results ought to draw serious attention to the need for greater investment in seismic mitigation and strong building codes to ensure that every community’s building stock and infrastructure remain safe and functional when earthquakes strike. The cost of doing too little is very high indeed.

Time to Promote Emergency Financial Preparedness

Insure Against Earthquakes: What's Your recovery plan? Knowing how you'll rebuild your life and home after an earthquake brings peace of mind. Illustration of a person securing and overhead light fixture and of a person seated in front of a laptop computer. Speech bubbles: Know your earthquake risk and possible impacts. Identify and fix home hazards to lesson damage. Make an emergency financial first-aid kit.

For many people, now is the time for spring cleaning. For most of us, spring is also the time for preparing taxes. Take advantage of the season to encourage people in your network to create or update their emergency financial preparedness kit: It’s an easy project now because they’ll already have their financial documents gathered together.

Get FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit workbook, instructions, and checklists.

Visit Insure Against Earthquakes: My Safety Net page for more info, and check out the outreach toolkit for more resources.

Suggest also that people create a home inventory while spring cleaning. Free online tools include: