Economic Impact Variables

Total Economic Damage, Reconstruction Costs, and Insured Damage

Six variables describe the economic impact of disasters in the EM-DAT Public Table:

These six statistics are the three same statistics (Reconstruction Costs ('000 US$), Insured Damage ('000 US$), and Total Damage ('000 US$)) repeated to also provide an amount corrected for inflation, i.e., “Adjusted” (See Economic Adjustment). Damage and costs are converted and expressed in thousands of US dollars (‘000 US$).

Reconstruction costs are different from total damages as they must consider the current construction or purchase costs of goods, as well as the additional cost of prevention and mitigation measures designed to reduce damage from future disasters. Hence, when reconstruction costs are specified, they are usually greater than the total damage.

Insured damage is usually reported by reinsurance companies that publish figures about disaster losses, e.g., MunichRe, SwissRe, or AON. When insured damage is reported, the total damage is generally reported from the same source for consistency.