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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Danger Zone: NY & DC

Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a firm which began by modeling the risk from natural disasters for insurance companies, has applied its techniques to terrorism.

RMS has classified cities in eight tiers based on terrorism risk (with tier 1 cities being the highest risk). These city tiers are based on Al Qaeda debriefings, intelligence reports, local economic values, population, name recognition in the Middle East, and expert opionion. There ar a total of nine cities in tiers 1, 2, and 3:

Tier 1: New York City and Washington, D.C.
Tier 2: Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles
Tier 3: Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Las Vegas

Peter Ulrich, who analyzes terrorism risk at RMS, points out that not all terrorism perils are equal. For RMS's clients, New York is clearly the biggest concern. That city alone accounts for about half of the nation's insured value. "Ninety percent of the risk [nationwide] is in 5 percent of the ZIP codes," he says. "New York and D.C. are head and shoulders above other cities."

RMS Publishes Paper on Applications of Building-level Data for Catastrophe Risk Management Featuring Sanborn CitySets™ Data [rms.com]
Imagining the worst [usnews.com]

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