When a major hurricane hits the United States, the U.S. Treasury also takes a hit. When it comes to disaster expenses, nothing -- not even 9/11 or the Northridge Earthquake -- rivals the costs of hurricanes.
Fresh figures from the Federal Emergency Management Agency this morning underscore the dominance of the hurricane.
For the last five fiscal years -- Oct. 1, 2004, through Sept. 30, 2009 -- the agency has committed $60.9 billion to in disaster money. Of that, $50.1 billion has been the result of hurricanes. That's 82 percent, and it doesn't include tropical storms or storm remnants, just hurricanes.
That figure has a lot do with Katrina and the incredible 2005 season, and quiet seasons can make all the difference in shelling out disaster money.