From a New York Times article on disasters which strike America, their frequency, location and financial impacts.
Only about 4 percent of all hurricanes that make landfall globally hit the United States, said Robert Mendelsohn, an economist at Yale University who studies the damage caused by hurricanes. Yet 60 percent of worldwide damage from hurricanes happens in the United States.
Dr. Mendelsohn attributed this partly to federal government programs that discourage citizens and local governments from building walls to protect housing near the coast. Only in the United States do relief programs and subsidized insurance make it attractive for people to move toward disaster-prone areas, he said.
Living in Australia, I couldn’t imagine a situation where we’d subsidise people who live in areas like this, while legislating against building levees and other weather management devices. Legislating against sensible things just keeps coming up again and again…