Hurricanes can cause significant damage to utility infrastructure, resulting in large restoration costs for utilities (ultimately borne by customers) and further societal costs due to reduced economic activity. Despite these costs, hardening utility infrastructure so that it is less susceptible to hurricane damage is very expensive.

This report examines the costs, utility benefits, and societal benefits for a variety of storm hardening programs (see Table A). Based on data provided by utilities and other assumptions, the following programs are found to be cost-effective...