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  The American Surveyor     

Report Finds More Than $234 Billion in Residential Storm Surge Exposure in 13 U.S. Cities Print E-mail
Written by First American Spatial Solutions   
Thursday, 01 April 2010

Miami and Virginia Beach Could Suffer the Highest Potential Residential Loss to Storm Surge from a Major Hurricane

Austin, Texas, March 31, 2010 – First American Spatial Solutions (FASS), a leading provider of spatial and natural hazard risk solutions and a member of The First American Corporation family of companies, today released a report illustrating the exposure of single residential structures to storm surge in 13 key geographic areas. First American Spatial Solutions, which utilizes property valuation data and advanced analytics in its hazard loss models, is uniquely positioned to analyze storm surge exposure at the individual property level.

The coastal counties identified in the report are experiencing a population increase and include a large number of high-value residential properties. Through building codes and property enhancements, individual homeowners can mitigate wind damage from hurricanes, but not the saltwater flooding from the resulting storm surge.
The report examines 13 different areas along the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. and quantifies the risk these communities face with a focus on residential exposure and the risk assessment possibilities based on storm category. FASS considered several factors in its analysis including hurricane probability, vulnerability and residential density when selecting the areas to study. In the table below are the top five cities for storm surge exposure:

Top Five U.S. Cities for Storm Surge Exposure (Ordered by Category 1 Exposure):
City                  Category 1 Exposure    Category 5 Exposure
Miami               $20 billion                     $53.6 billion
New Orleans    $16.5 billion                  $17.5 billion
Tampa              $9.5 billion                    $33 billion
Charleston, S.C.    $9 billion                  $20 billion
Virginia Beach   $7.5 billion                   $39 billion

For the full report, please visit www.faspatial.com/ssr.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike, which resulted in a storm surge of up to 20 feet high, illuminated the need for underwriters to carefully examine the potential for storm surge along the U.S. coastline and quantify their risk exposure. To meet this need, First American Spatial Solutions utilized its extensive database of residential property information to identify coastal areas with the highest property values.

To determine residential exposure value, this parcel data was combined with valuation data from First American CoreLogic. Using advanced analytics, the First American Spatial Solutions’ risk model identified every property contained within each of the storm-surge inundation areas by hurricane category. The totals were then broken out into geographic regions by zip code. The report details the current value of the total structures exposed to each storm surge event.  For more information on First American Spatial Solutions’ Natural Hazard Databases, please visit: http://www.faspatial.com/products/databases/natural-hazard

About First American
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is a FORTUNE 500® company that traces its history to 1889. With revenues of approximately $6.0 billion in 2009, it is America's largest provider of business information. First American combines advanced analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people's lives, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within five primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Information and Outsourcing Solutions, Data and Analytic Solutions, and Risk Mitigation and Business Solutions. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.

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