When Disaster Strikes: Gauging the Investment Risk of Natural Hazards

Investors need to understand the potential physical damage from natural hazards before they can assess their financial implications.

From hurricanes to earthquakes to droughts, natural disasters are becoming more numerous, extreme and costly. To assess the potential financial damage, investors must better understand physical risks at the local level. That’s the goal of a collaboration between AB and the Columbia Climate School.

Understanding Physical Risks from Natural Hazards

In 2016, the Columbia Climate School’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness created a Natural Hazards Index, a wide-ranging assessment of natural hazard exposures across US states and counties. The intent was to help US households, communities, and public health and emergency management practitioners prepare against natural disasters.

AB subsequently worked with Columbia on an upgraded 2.0 version, released in early 2023, that can generate a detailed interactive map showing natural hazard exposures across the US (Display). It can drill down to any of the 73,057 underlying census tracts that comprise the 3,143 US counties.

Know Your Risks: Natural Hazards Exposures Across the US