ICAT, a catastrophe insurance company based in Boulder, Colorado, worked in conjunction with Roger Pielke Jr. et al. (2008) to create the ICAT Damage Estimator (IDE) (http://www.icatdamageestimator.com). The IDE is a free, open source, web-based tool that can be used to select and display historical U.S. landfalling tropical cyclones with non-normalized and normalized damage data. There are numerous ways to select historical storms based on a user's criteria. Selection options include, but are not limited to, landfall state, category, year, month, and coastal segment. The IDE provides data for each individual storm, as well as damage statistics for the user's selection of multiple storms. When there is an active tropical cyclone in the Atlantic, the IDE can select historical storms based on criteria that relate to the current storm. For example, when there is a landfall forecast in the National Hurricane Center (NHC) five-day cone, the IDE can display all historical storms that have made landfall within the current forecast cone. It can also select historical landfalling storms that passed within a user defined distance of the storm's current position.
The IDE uses an interactive embedded form of Google Maps to display selected storm tracks and intensities. Damage statistics and a histogram of the selected storms are displayed graphically while meteorological and damage data are displayed in spreadsheet format. There is also an option to export data to Google Earth, a spreadsheet file, email, or printable format. The IDE is a unique tool that combines NHC HURDAT data with the normalized damage record in a way that allows the general public to easily select, display, and analyze historical storms in the context of today's societal conditions. The IDE was created to be a useful tool to media sources, local, state, and federal public officials, the scientific and academic community, the insurance and reinsurance industries, and to other interested individuals.