The Cost of Natural Disasters: Earthquakes in California

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If you tell someone there is an earthquake in California they’ll tell you it’s no big deal because California is prone to seismic activity.  California is located above two tectonic plates:  The Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.  Throughout history these plates have constantly shifted, causing a fair amount of damage to California but those of us that don’t live in California do not realize the impact these earthquakes have.  Not only do earthquakes produce physical damage they may also produce economic damage.  Recently, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Napa Valley has done just that.  Thankfully there were no casualties but the local wine industry has suffered an estimated 80 million dollars in losses.

These losses include: bottled inventory, vineyard irrigation, wine-making equipment, cleanup and removal costs, lost revenue from damaged tasting rooms and damaged infrastructure.  Although Napa Valley only provides five percent of California’s wine output, the area thrives on thousands of tourists throughout the year.  The city of Napa, which is a close-knit community, experienced the most damage. Costs in damage are expected to rise to an estimated 300 million.  129 buildings in the area have been “red-tagged”, meaning they are unsafe and prohibited for anyone to enter.  Over 53 shelters have opened their doors to 2,000 plus victims and have supplied food and water.  The most disturbing fact is that only 5% of local homeowners have earthquake insurance (according to the California Department of Insurance).

Because we know earthquakes are constant threats to residents and businesses in California many companies such as Reid Steel are working on efficient ways to produce structures that are less likely to be affected by disaster.  Sometimes we think insurance may not be worth the extra monthly costs but let this be a lesson that we never know when disaster may strike.  The next earthquakes may be impossible to predict but it is important that if you live in an area that has a high chance of disaster please visit Ready.gov to learn more about how to prepare for natural disasters.  Money comes and goes but lives are important.

Here is to brighter days and smarter ways!

Would you like to donate or volunteer?  Please visit http://www.napavintners.com/earthquake/ to find out more information.

Yoalnda Begay | News Cult

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