Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI)


SHELDUS™ | Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database for the United States

SHELDUS™ is a county-level hazard data set for the U.S. for 18 different natural hazard events types such thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tornados. For each event the database includes the beginning date, location (county and state), property losses, crop losses, injuries, and fatalities that affected each county. The data set does not include Puerto Rico, Guam, or other U.S. territories.

The data were derived from several existing national data sources such as National Climatic Data Center's monthly Storm Data publications and NGDC's Tsunami Event Database. Originally, SHELDUS™ contained only those events that generated more than $50,000 in damage or at least one death. However, we are currently in the process of removing these thresholds and are adding every loss causing (monetary and human) event as reported in the data sources used by SHELDUS™.

With the release of SHELDUS™ 12.0, the database includes every loss causing and/or deadly event between 1960 through 1992 and from 1995 onward. Between 1993 and 1995, SHELDUS™ reflects only events that caused at least one fatality or more than $50,000 in property or crop damages. Future releases of SHELDUS™ will contain more detailed information for the time period 1993 through 1995.

Data and maps were compiled and geo-referenced by the Hazards & Vulnerability and Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. This database was originally supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 99053252 and 0220712) and the University of South Carolina's Office of the Vice President for Research. However, for the past 7 years SHELDUS data collection and analysis has had no support from any federal, state, local, or private stakeholders.

Searching by Presidential Disaster Declaration, Major Disaster, or GLIDE number may return inaccurate records. We are aware of this issue and are working to to resolve it. Thank you for your patience!

Download SHELDUS™ 12.0 data here.

The new version of SHELDUS™ contains more than 810,000 records and spans the years from 1960 through 2012.

New to this version are loss data from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 (more than 19,000 records).

Also updated with this version is an additional way to search and retrieve loss event data consistent with international Peril class categories. On the "Search By Page" you will now see an option to search by Peril Class. We painstakingly linked every SHELDUS record with at least one Peril Class record to enable more precise international cross comparisons.


Download 1960-2009 state maps and graphics here.

Maps and graphics include summarized loss information (1960-2009 v 8.0) adjusted to 2009 USD.

SHELDUS™ Terms of use

Please use the following citation when using SHELDUS data:

"Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute (2013). The Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database for the United States, Version 12.0 [Online Database]. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina. Available from http://www.sheldus.org "

Disclaimer regarding Geographic Changes

If downloading data concerning one or more counties that experienced geographic changes (e.g. absorbtion of a county or the creation of a new county), please be aware that SHELDUS™ might return more records than expected.

Disclaimer regarding ALASKA

If downloading data on Alaskan counties, please be aware that due to county boundary changes FIPS codes have been reused. This may result in incorrect county names though the FIPS codes are correct. See the FAQ section for more information.

Disclaimer regarding COMPLEX EVENTS (e.g. hurricanes)

If requesting data on complex events, please include related hazard types to arrive at more complete loss estimates. In the case of hurricanes, for example, losses from floods, tornadoes, coastal, and wind events should be considered as well. Please note that storm surge losses from Hurricane Katrina are listed under the hazard event category "Coastal" and not under "Hurricane/Tropical Storm".

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SHELDUS™ cartoon with permission from the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder, CO.