What Do Natural Disasters Mean for Me?
By Madison F.
Natural disasters have been around long before man. They are natural occurrences of the earth. Places flood. The earth shakes. There is nothing inherently wrong with these events until it disrupts life. Thousands of earthquakes aren’t felt, but they are there. Some happen in the middle of the ocean, so we don’t notice. One thing is for sure in life; there will always be uncertainty. Scientists are getting better at predicting some natural disasters. We can live in denial and hope for the best. Nothing is wrong with hope. The issue is when that denial and hope disrupt us from being prepared. Natural disasters will happen. That is one thing we can be certain about in life. We should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Let us first start with the increase of earthquakes. On February 16th, there was a total of 78 earthquakes. 48 of which were magnitude 3, 27 were magnitude 4, and 3 were magnitude 5. Luckily most earthquakes are small, and hardly felt.
Mexico, however, has been one of the unlucky ones. On February 16th, there was a 7.2 earthquake. Then again on the 19th they had another earthquake magnitude 5.7. In the past 7 days, they have had 66 earthquakes.
Hawaii has had flash floods. This led to evacuations and rescue missions. The Honolulu Fire department set out to rescue passengers in cars that were swept up. The rescue was lead by a person who drove a bulldozer into the water. This allowed the firefighters to get closer to the cars and get the passengers out.
New Zealand has had flooding and strong winds from the Cyclone Gita. It is possible to have 90 mph winds. Landslides are also likely. The places in the South Island have declared state of emergency.
The Buller Distract Mayor Garry Howard said, “this is not a good situation for those in seafront properties”. Below is a picture of a man's farm in Balnham after the flooding.
What people are doing because of the natural disasters?
After Hurricane Irma, Florida is making improvements. They are reworking evacuation routes. Another big problem they had was fuel. When evacuations happen, cars need gas.
Many improvements are being made as shown below.
Learning and improving is vital to our existence. Florida has made great strides in improving their evacuation plans. Hopefully it helps fix some kinks that they have been having.
What natural disasters mean for investors?
Have you ever thought about buying property somewhere by the beach? Maybe California? These places have seen many natural disasters. From this, much property has been destroyed. Yet, people are still buying property in these places.
Hurricane Harvey caused $125 billion in damage in Houston Texas.
This hasn't changed people's minds for buying property here. Last year the 219 weather disasters caused $1.5 trillion in damages across the United States. Below is a graph showing how disaster costs have changed over the years.
Billy Grayson, the Executive Director for Center of Sustainability and Economic Performance said, "If you think that insurance is always going to cover you, you have to recognize insurance changes every year".
Arthur J. Gallagher, the chairman of a large real estate fund, and Alexandra Glickman, the director, pulled out of investing in Florida. Insurance costs were high. Maintaining the properties was costly. They were at high risk of flooding and mold.
There is nothing we can do to change natural disasters. They are a part of life. However, we can change how we prepare for and react to them. We should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.