Disasters & Accidents

Natural disasters, a growing business

Miami, Feb 8 (EFE).- Natural disasters are a tragedy for their victims, with families often losing their homes and loved ones, but with such events occurring more frequently and with greater intensity due to the climate crisis, some businesses that profit from their impact are booming.

Since 1980, natural disasters in the United States have cost an average of $19 billion in damage and losses per year, according to the National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In 2021, the US experienced 20 extreme weather events, increasing the yearly figure to $145 billion, the third highest ever recorded.

The increase in natural disasters, their intensity and cost has become an opportunity for the private sector to showcase their solutions to public entities, such as NOAA and NASA, at the Natural Disasters Expo in Miami.

Visitors at the trade show can see everything from the most recent emergency gurneys, radial saws, lifecast body simulations to the latest satellite communication drones.

“It’s a growing business,” Caitlin Gregory, an exhibitor at the trade show, tells Efe.

Gregory’s company sells portable, self-contained shelters that can be delivered by air to remote areas and installed in five minutes.

Meanwhile, for Nick Disparti it has been a “very busy” year thanks to hurricanes and wildfires.

His company Rescue Essentials, which specialized in custom medical solutions for emergency services and individuals, boomed after Hurricane Ida and wildfires in California, he told Efe.

While many exhibitors are showcasing emergency tools, the majority are aimed at prevention like Garrison Flood Control manufactures who say their water barriers could have prevented Hurricane Ida from flooding the subway and hundreds of basements.

The Natural Disasters Expo is also hosting talks on natural disaster mitigation and relief.

“It is the place to be,” says Andres Duque, who runs a company in Florida, a state at risk of hurricanes.

Over 600 people were killed in extreme weather conditions in the US in 2021. EFE


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