In 2017, there were 16 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 1 drought event, 2 flooding events, 1 freeze event, 8 severe storm events, 3 tropical cyclone events, and 1 wildfire event. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 362 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. The 1980–2017 annual average is 5.8 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2013–2017) is 11.6 events (CPI-adjusted).

During 2017, the U.S. experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters. In total, the U.S. was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events tying 2011 for the record number of billion-dollar disasters for an entire calendar year. In fact, 2017 arguably has more events than 2011 given that our analysis traditionally counts all U.S. billion-dollar wildfires, as regional-scale, seasonal events, not as multiple isolated events.

For more: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2018). https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/

Iowa had one federally-declared disaster in 2017: DR-4334 for severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding issued on August 27 for nine counties in northeast Iowa.

From left: Lorie Glover, Black Hawk County Emergency Management Coordinator; Frank Magsamen, BH County EM Commission Chair; and Kelsey Angle, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Des Moines.From left: Lorie Glover, Black Hawk County Emergency Management Coordinator; Frank Magsamen, BH County EM Commission Chair; and Kelsey Angle, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Des Moines.NOAA’s National Weather Service has recognized Black Hawk County as a Storm Ready county. The StormReady program helps community leaders and residents prepare for hazardous weather and flooding. StormReady sites have made a strong commitment to implement plans and resources in an effort to save lives and protect property when severe weather strikes.

Gov. Terry E. Branstad today verbally issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for Kossuth and Webster counties in response to the M​ay​ 16, 2017, severe weather.  Tomorrow, Gov. Branstad will sign the proclamation. 

The governor’s proclamation allows State resources to be utilized in the two counties to respond to, and recover from, the effects of the severe weather that included damaging winds, heavy rains and thunderstorms​.  The proclamation also temporarily suspends State regulatory provisions to allow the open burning of disaster debris and rubbish for 90 days following the effective date of the proclamation.

Governor Terry Branstad has designated the week of Jan. 15-21, 2017, as Hazardous Materials Awareness Week in Iowa.

The goal of the week is to provide Iowans a better understanding about hazardous materials, their proper use, storage, and disposal, and the emergency response actions that can help minimize unnecessary accidents and exposure.

Nearly all households and businesses use products that contain hazardous materials, and hazardous materials are transported on our roadways, railways, and waterways daily. Knowing how to handle such products and how to react during an emergency can reduce the risk of illness, injury or death.

Gov. Terry E. Branstad has received word that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request for disaster assistance for nine counties impacted by severe storms in September.

The counties included in the declaration are: Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, and Hardin. The governor sent the request to the SBA for a Physical Disaster Declaration on Oct. 6, 2016, in response to significant damage that was caused by severe storms and flooding from Sept. 21-Oct. 3, 2016.

Today, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are providing an update on the Iowa flood response and issuing a disaster emergency proclamation for four additional counties including Howard, Jones, Louisa and Story.  Additionally, Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard Tim Orr, and Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mark Schouten will tour flood damage in Vinton, Palo and Cedar Rapids tomorrow.  The schedule is provided below.

This update includes an overview of actions being taken by the State of Iowa to assist communities in Iowa impacted by flooding.

Gov. Terry E. Branstad has proclaimed the week of September 19-23, 2016, Emergency Management Appreciation Week in Iowa.

On Monday (September 19) emergency managers from across the state joined Gov. Branstad for a public signing of a proclamation recognizing the dedicated and necessary work conducted by Iowa's emergency managers. County emergency managers are responsible for establishing and maintaining the capability to effectively direct, control and coordinate emergency and disaster response and recovery efforts at the local level. Emergency managers in Iowa have coordinated 38 federally-declared disasters since 1990 and countless other non-declared events.

Serving Iowa since 1962

Preparedness

“Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy.”

― Max Mayfield
Former Director
National Hurricane Center