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Florida is uniquely susceptible to economic loss from hurricanes and has been affected by some of the most destructive to ever reach the United States. In the wake of the devastating 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, risk assessment companies and reinsurance companies have spent millions of dollars annually to try and predict the expected economic loss from direct hurricane strikes. These companies base their predictions on historical hurricane events and the expected intensity of the current event at landfall. A large portion of economic loss from hurricanes comes from the storm surge, and storm surge is better predicted using intensities prior to landfall (Jordan and Clayson 2008). The relationship between economic loss and hurricane intensity prior to landfall is analyzed using the best available data, and a log linear model is created for use in economic loss prediction. Results show that intensity 5 hours prior to landfall is a better estimate of overall economic loss than the expected intensity at landfall. Additional storm variables may be considered to further explain the relationship between economic loss and hurricane characteristics prior to landfall.
Florida, Hurricanes, Economic Loss, Correlation, Log Linear Regression
Date of Defense
March 4, 2009.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Geography in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
James B. Elsner, Professor Directing Thesis; T. Victor Mesev, Committee Member; J. Anthony Stallins, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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