Tornados, earthquakes, floods; humanity often underestimates the destructive force of nature, it claims households, lives and memories. Although the human drama associated with natural disasters is usually the most evident, permeating every conduit of traditional and social media, there are effects that extend beyond the realms of humanity. Although an extremely controversial aspect of natural disasters, there is an economic facet to these tragic events.
See Also: Horrible Humanity: Disaster Tourism
This is how natural disasters can influence the job market.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency that is called to action in the event of a large scale disaster when the federal and state authorities cannot handle the scale of the situation. Not only does FEMA provide on the ground support during times of crisis, they also have what is called a FEMA Corps which is a group of individuals aged 18-24 dedicated to recovery and response during disasters. The agency currently employees 9.106 employees and has numerous private contracts that further create jobs.
2. Prevention Industry
Even though a mass disaster greatly affects the construction industry, there are industries that help negate effects of natural disasters on property. Hurricane shutters, storm cellar and safe rooms are often additions to rebuilt homes and FEMA actually gives grants for the construction of them. Safe rooms which are becoming steadily more popular (especially in areas which are frequently hit by tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes) and the industry is actually trying to adapt to the increase of demand, by offering variable costing units and increasing employment. Even the huge DIY box store Home Depot is getting in on the natural disaster protection game selling what they call Twister Pod for a reasonable 2.997 dollars.
Although natural disasters can put a heavy burden on insurance companies in the form of paying out their customers, they often need new employees to work as Damage Assessment agents, especially if the area affected is of large scale. Beyond that, many people seek insurance protection shortly after large scale events.
4. Temporary/Short-term Housing
This industry is the one, apart from the construction industry, to see the most immediate benefits after a disaster. As people become displaced and rebuilt their properties they are forced to take up temporary residence. Often these are what are called FEMA trailers, or mobile homes that are set up as temporary shelters for the affected population. Beyond that, many unaffected homes in the vicinity of the disaster are offered on short-term leases to house the people displaced. Hotels and other boarding solutions also see an increase in people seeking temporary shelter until they can return to their homes.
After the devastation of the Hurricane Katrina (as a result of failing anti-flood and storm infrastructure) the New Orleans area anti-storm protections were completely revamped. That includes a brand new 14 billion dollar levee system installed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Beyond the levee’s construction though, this newly expanded system also needs employees to run pumping stations (that expel water from within the city) to inspect the structure and generally maintain it.
Did I leave anything else off the list you think is worth mentioning? Please let us know in the comment section below.