Houses and offices under water. Looting in the streets. Factories on fire. What's an accountant to do?According to the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Emerging Issues Task Force, treat the situation as ordinary.

Were it an asteroid hitting Miami or a tsunami washing over Nebraska, the accounting treatment could recognize an extraordinary event. Related costs would be banished from "income from continuing operations" on the income statement just as surely as looters are banished from New Orleans.

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