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Thread: Putting the Disaster in Natural Disasters. Why Do We Live in Harm's Way?

  1. #1 Putting the Disaster in Natural Disasters. Why Do We Live in Harm's Way? 
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    I've often wondered why so many people live in such very dangerous places. This article does a very good job of explaining why. Has any forum member reading this ever lived in a very dangerous place? Please share your experience of when you became aware of how dangerous it was.



    Putting the Disaster in Natural Disasters. Why Do We Live in Harm's Way? | Risk: Reason and Reality | Big Think


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  3. #2  
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    circa 1966
    as I walked into the dorm at the University of Oklahoma, a very large sign read: "What to do when the tornado happens"...........
    I had kinda been hoping for an "if" not a "when"

    Tornadoes, blizzards, sand storms, ice storms, hail, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanos, cyclones, anticyclones,
    gee
    If we avoided all places where these might happen, we'd loose over 90% of our habitat


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    circa 1966
    as I walked into the dorm at the University of Oklahoma, a very large sign read: "What to do when the tornado happens"...........
    I had kinda been hoping for an "if" not a "when"

    Tornadoes, blizzards, sand storms, ice storms, hail, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanos, cyclones, anticyclones,
    gee
    If we avoided all places where these might happen, we'd loose over 90% of our habitat
    Maybe avoiding all such places would be tough, but as in your case you can help mitigate the danger, by building a tornado shelter room in or close to your home and you can buy tornado insurance. But how many people in that situation ever bother to spend the money?
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    Peoples capacity for denial is quite strong. The place looks so nice, what could possibly happen?
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    Peoples capacity for denial is quite strong. The place looks so nice, what could possibly happen?
    I do know that when you are shopping to buy a house, the realtors are required to inform you if the home is in a flood area, and I would assume the same goes for anyplace in which a separate insurance policy would be required by the lenders. This means you can't buy a place without knowing the kind of disaster that might affect you will be.
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  7. #6  
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    how about lightning?

    We built on a hillside in the river valley well above the height of the spillway of the downstreem dam.
    Good plan so far?
    What I hadn't known was that 5 inch/hour rains ain't all that uncommon here in Iowa.
    Acre = 43560 square feet, the 5 uphill acres from the house = @218,000 square feet x 5 inches of rain = a tad under 91,000 cubic feet of water rushing the uphill side of the house in 60 minutes-----slowing that down to minutes = 1500 cubic feet of water a minute plus what falls off the roofs.
    I placed a series of four 4 inch perimiter drain tubes and one 6 incher---cross sections totaling a tad under 70 square inches or 1/2 sq ft.
    So the drains need to accomodate 3000 cubic feet of water per minute

    I had thought that I had almost controlled tha rain-flood.
    Standpipe feeds to the drains plug with debris, silt shrinks the size of the drains
    (gasp)
    Downhill berms from the most uphill drains and standpipes do most of the work, but in a 5"/hr rain, I still have to monitor the intakes to the lower drains.
    And, often, find myself drenched to the bone, standing in a foot of water, freeing the intakes.
    The 6 incher ain't flowing freely no more(I suspect tree roots have plugged it), and that will be my next chore(it's 4 inch backup still carries the load if I monitor the intake).
    I could lie and say it's fun------------but I won't.

    On the plus side, I shoot deer and grow vegetables and fruit and berries in the back yard and walk to the river to trotline fish for freezer catfish, or we paddle about in the kayaks. When I got here, I planted 1458 trees and get birdsong constantly, while diminishing the force of the winds around the buildings.

    Why do we place ourselves where we need to alter nature?
    Maybe, there ain't no simple because, so the "why" falls short of the mark?
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    A central cause of this problem is our misunderstanding of probability
    I don't think that's correct. If you go back a few decades people used to avoid high risk areas, such as along rivers, sandy beaches etc. But they didn't have insurance, or had great difficultly getting it, or simply didn't have the wealth to rebuild in a worse case. In my home town for example, even to this day, few fully time locals live on the exposed beaches; entire communities of beach front homes are owned by wealthy out-of-staters, who could afford the loss.

    Today, with excellent storm warnings systems, transportation there far less risk of loss of life and far more money and insurance available to build in the prettiest places alongside waterways.

    My analysis doesn't so apply to earth quake risk, which are regional.

    --
    the realtors are required to inform you if the home is in a flood area,
    (nods) Too bad in the US, they are notoriously inaccurate--in WA state most haven't been updated since the 1980s, meaning they are mostly non-scientific guesses not reflecting current state of the waterways, land develoopment areas, nor modern hydrology models coupled to realistic weather modeling. Even tomorrow I'm looking at a house in a class-A flood zone from 1988 (a crayon mark along a road without consideration of actual terrain), with two homes on the same street have been awarded adjustments by FEMA after land elevation surveys, but the one I'm looking at unchanged--the difference in insurance rates one way or the other is $2000-3000 /yr difference in insurance rates.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    A central cause of this problem is our misunderstanding of probability
    I don't think that's correct. If you go back a few decades people used to avoid high risk areas, such as along rivers, sandy beaches etc. But they didn't have insurance, or had great difficultly getting it, or simply didn't have the wealth to rebuild in a worse case. In my home town for example, even to this day, few fully time locals live on the exposed beaches; entire communities of beach front homes are owned by wealthy out-of-staters, who could afford the loss.

    Today, with excellent storm warnings systems, transportation there far less risk of loss of life and far more money and insurance available to build in the prettiest places alongside waterways.

    My analysis doesn't so apply to earth quake risk, which are regional.

    --
    the realtors are required to inform you if the home is in a flood area,
    (nods) Too bad in the US, they are notoriously inaccurate--in WA state most haven't been updated since the 1980s, meaning they are mostly non-scientific guesses not reflecting current state of the waterways, land development areas, nor modern hydrology models coupled to realistic weather modeling. Even tomorrow I'm looking at a house in a class-A flood zone from 1988 (a crayon mark along a road without consideration of actual terrain), with two homes on the same street have been awarded adjustments by FEMA after land elevation surveys, but the one I'm looking at unchanged--the difference in insurance rates one way or the other is $2000-3000 /yr difference in insurance rates.
    Yeah, those damn insurance rates can be a deal breaker. I know in California some areas require a great deal more fire insurance. But you know what? Even with insurance getting burned out of your home and losing all your possessions is going to be devastating.

    I have a question for you about Mount Rainier. I know there are a lot of areas built up on old Lahars. I could be wrong but I don't believe lenders require special volcano insurance do they? We know that the volcano is going to erupt again, but when is anybodies guess. Anyway, many thousands of people are going to be SOL when the volcano erupts again, and they will be lucky to get out alive. Do they even give it a second thought when they are moving into the neighborhood?

    The next thing most people don't consider much, is their children will probably grow up and remain in the same area. I believe I read a study once that claimed 80% of the population never moves more than 25 miles from where they grew up. I don't really know how true that is, but towns and cities tend to get larger over time and I believe most of that increase is home grown.
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  10. #9  
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    [QUOTE=Bad Robot;442115]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    I have a question for you about Mount Rainier. I know there are a lot of areas built up on old Lahars. I could be wrong but I don't believe lenders require special volcano insurance do they? We know that the volcano is going to erupt again, but when is anybodies guess. Anyway, many thousands of people are going to be SOL when the volcano erupts again, and they will be lucky to get out alive. Do they even give it a second thought when they are moving into the neighborhood?
    Lehars are covered by flood insurance--don't know if it's being considered a requirement for mortgage backed conventional mortgages. Last study by WA State put losses at over 13 billion dollars and tens of thousands homes destroyed. Most scenarios involving eruptions would have warning to get most people out in plenty of time. Some scenarios, involve earth quake induced slide of ice and mud off Mount Ranier, without an eruption--there would be little warning. These worst case, speculated as possible by scientist, is a deep subduction zone quake followed by slides and starting an eruption. Getting back to the Lahars, the richest farms communities, now growing into cities, started ontop of the rich lahar soils.

    Not sure about the 80% rule; around Western WA there's a lot of transplants such as myself. But at 50 years old, I'm not too worried about 500 year events--nor should I be.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Lahars are covered by flood insurance--don't know if it's being considered a requirement for mortgage backed conventional mortgages. Last study by WA State put losses at over 13 billion dollars and tens of thousands homes destroyed. Most scenarios involving eruptions would have warning to get most people out in plenty of time. Some scenarios, involve earth quake induced slide of ice and mud off Mount Rainier, without an eruption--there would be little warning. These worst case, speculated as possible by scientist, is a deep subduction zone quake followed by slides and starting an eruption. Getting back to the Lahars, the richest farms communities, now growing into cities, started on top of the rich lahar soils.

    Not sure about the 80% rule; around Western WA there's a lot of transplants such as myself. But at 50 years old, I'm not too worried about 500 year events--nor should I be.
    I guess the point I'm trying to make is, is a lot of people settle into an area raise a family and many of those kids will grow up and start their own families, and this may continue through many generations until the volcano generates Lahars again. I'm sure many of the current 150,000 people living in the danger zones are aware it could happen, but I wonder how many have even bothered to learn the best way to save their lives on short notice. People tend to ignore danger when it may or may not happen anytime soon.

    I grew up in Southern California and experienced many earthquakes and never ever really felt threatened by them. I always figured my chance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time was slim to none. But I also watched Malibu million dollar houses burn down every few years, and yet the people just rebuilt and continued living there.
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  12. #11  
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    I guess it depends upon the severity of the natural disasters and their potential.

    I lived near an dormant volcano, I lived in a flood plane, I lived in tornado alley, etc. I don't know where I would have to go to get away from natural disasters.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    I live surrounded by regenerating rain forest. The dominant tree in the mix is a local one called 'manuka' which has oil filled leaves and is highly flammable. One of my projects is to remove those manuka from near my house, and plant native rain forest species that are highly non flammable. In this way, I get a green fire break.

    Knew of this hazard before I bought, and my insurance covers it. However, I also knew that I needed to do something about it, and I have.

    My own view is that, before buying a property, it is important to evaluate the local risks and assess how probable a disaster might be, and what you can do to minimise the risk. Sadly, it appears that all too few do this.
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    West Virginia seems to avoid all of these natural disasters, except flash floods I guess, but I've never experienced one and definitely haven't seen any to the magnitude I see occurring in other places.
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    My own view is that, before buying a property, it is important to evaluate the local risks and assess how probable a disaster might be, and what you can do to minimise the risk. Sadly, it appears that all too few do this.
    I've always refused to live in the Adelaide Hills because it's just too cold for my tastes. But after the Ash Wednesday bushfires, my husband was also convinced we shouldn't live there. (A friend of his was killed - in what looked like an ordinary suburban street.) Then I visited a friend of mine in her hillside home. Up a steep and winding driveway, which led off from a cul de sac at the end of a narrow winding street, with only one - narrow - way out of that area, into a succession of other narrow winding roads until you were near the freeway. I shuddered.

    Though I must say the more recent publicity around "Bushfire Survival Plans" and making sure that everyone, even those in ordinary suburbs, can put together a plan for their household and, most importantly, talk to their kids about what to do on high fire danger days.

    As for living in volcano and flooding regions, Dr Iain Stewart's BBC2 series, How Earth Made Us, gives a good overview of why such areas have been, historically speaking, preferred locations for human settlement. This is the first episode, Water. How Earth Made Us -1/5- Water WWW.GOODNEWS.WS - YouTube
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    West Virginia seems to avoid all of these natural disasters, except flash floods I guess, but I've never experienced one and definitely haven't seen any to the magnitude I see occurring in other places.
    That's probably true for most places people live. But it's really amazing how many towns are built up down stream of a major dam. No matter how well that dam is built, something could go wrong with it. I couldn't live there.

    I'm not really aware of anything major that could happen where I live now. But I suppose a large enough tsunami might do it, but then no tsunami that large has ever been recorded in human history. So that's not to likely and I'm not all that close to Mount Rainier, so even if it had a full blown eruption I can't see a problem there either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    My own view is that, before buying a property, it is important to evaluate the local risks and assess how probable a disaster might be, and what you can do to minimise the risk. Sadly, it appears that all too few do this.
    I've always refused to live in the Adelaide Hills because it's just too cold for my tastes. But after the Ash Wednesday bushfires, my husband was also convinced we shouldn't live there. (A friend of his was killed - in what looked like an ordinary suburban street.) Then I visited a friend of mine in her hillside home. Up a steep and winding driveway, which led off from a cul de sac at the end of a narrow winding street, with only one - narrow - way out of that area, into a succession of other narrow winding roads until you were near the freeway. I shuddered.

    Though I must say the more recent publicity around "Bushfire Survival Plans" and making sure that everyone, even those in ordinary suburbs, can put together a plan for their household and, most importantly, talk to their kids about what to do on high fire danger days.

    As for living in volcano and flooding regions, Dr Iain Stewart's BBC2 series, How Earth Made Us, gives a good overview of why such areas have been, historically speaking, preferred locations for human settlement. This is the first episode, Water. How Earth Made Us -1/5- Water WWW.GOODNEWS.WS - YouTube
    I remember being in the Dandenong's for the week during Ash Wednesday. The mad dash out of there is one that I never want to relive again.

    Anyway, back on topic.

    Then you look at the Canberra bushfires, where a bush fire was burning in the surrounding national parks and then spread into the suburbs of the city itself, destroying hundreds of homes. It was, essentially, an urban conventional suburb.

    Or the microburst storm at The Gap in Queensland, which saw an inner city Brisbane suburb completely destroyed in a storm.

    Or the Queensland floods, which essentially saw 3/4 of the state was declared a disaster area.

    Sometimes, no matter where you are, something can happen and it can be a disaster. As was demonstrated by the Boxing Day Tsunami, which saw even countries like Sri Lanka hit with many casualties..
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    The nicest places I have ever lived were active earthquake zones and two were within sight of active volcanoes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    The nicest places I have ever lived were active earthquake zones and two were within sight of active volcanoes.
    Sometimes it's worth a little risk to explore the more interesting things the world has to offer. Like getting your picture taken next to an 8 foot hogweed or climbing Palmer glacier with your snowboard to see the fumaroles. The part of Indiana where I live is pretty safe in terms of natural disasters (New Madrid quakes not considered), but it's also boring as can be...
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Well, I live in one of the world's most tectonically active countries. We are currently in the middle of an earthquake scare, due to a swarm of tremors about 50 kms from our capital city, with a maximum of 6.5 on the Richter scale. Some damage done, but no disaster (yet). I have a good friend who lives in a 19th floor penthouse in the middle of Wellington (capital city prone to quakes). She does not want to move, since she loves the city.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    The nicest places I have ever lived were active earthquake zones and two were within sight of active volcanoes.
    Sometimes it's worth a little risk to explore the more interesting things the world has to offer. Like getting your picture taken next to an 8 foot hogweed or climbing Palmer glacier with your snowboard to see the fumaroles. The part of Indiana where I live is pretty safe in terms of natural disasters (New Madrid quakes not considered), but it's also boring as can be...
    Now I know what 8 ft. hogweed looks like.
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    Now look up phytophotodermatitis and you'll understand why my job has me on edge sometimes.

    I almost made an intern cry when we were exploring a wetland and she proudly proclaimed of the sample she was holding, "Look. Queen Anne's Lace" to which I replied, quite dryly, "That's hemlock. You're going to die."

    Fortunately, my boss has a better sense of humor than she did.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Now look up phytophotodermatitis and you'll understand why my job has me on edge sometimes.

    I almost made an intern cry when we were exploring a wetland and she proudly proclaimed of the sample she was holding, "Look. Queen Anne's Lace" to which I replied, quite dryly, "That's hemlock. You're going to die."

    Fortunately, my boss has a better sense of humor than she did.
    Some pictures of phytophotodermatitis. Ugly with a capital U.

    phytophotodermatitis - Bing Images
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    The City of Phoenix is traversed by a giant dry riverbed, the Salt River, which, on occasion, has been known to flood enormously, though very infrequently. Homes were built in the floodplain, where land was the cheapest, no one expecting any flooding. Impossibly enough, 1978 saw a "hundred-year" flood, as did 1979, and 1980: three "hundred-years" in as many years, unprecedented, impossible statistically, plenty of homes were wrecked.

    I lived there then. My wife and I watched daily, the Salt River peaked at 180,000 cubic feet per second, near the all-time known flood-stage flow of the West's mighty Colorado River!

    jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    The City of Phoenix is traversed by a giant dry riverbed, the Salt River, which, on occasion, has been known to flood enormously, though very infrequently. Homes were built in the floodplain, where land was the cheapest, no one expecting any flooding. Impossibly enough, 1978 saw a "hundred-year" flood, as did 1979, and 1980: three "hundred-years" in as many years, unprecedented, impossible statistically, plenty of homes were wrecked.

    I lived there then. My wife and I watched daily, the Salt River peaked at 180,000 cubic feet per second, near the all-time known flood-stage flow of the West's mighty Colorado River!

    jocular
    I lived in Southern California at that time and don't remember the events. Just goes to show you, that unless you are close to the experience it doesn't make a lasting impression. If anything I probably thought all the people caught in the flood were fools for living in a known flood plain.
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    My home in California has a creek. In a bad winter, we could flood, so we have flood insurance. Has it flooded in 32 years, nor do I think it will, but..... We also have earthquakes at least 2 times a week, and have earthquake insurance. We have had a few major shakers.

    In Hawai'i, we are REQUIRED (if you have a loan on your home) to have HURRICANE insurance. The last time a hurricane came through there was.....frankly I don't know as no one remembers one hitting Big Island, though IKI hit Kau'i in 1992, causing severe damage.

    We also have 5 volcano's. 1 Dormant. We don't have volcano insurance...don't know that I know of VOLCANO insurance, but I am sure if you really wanted it you could find it.

    We don't have tsunami insurance either, and we had 3 in three years.

    Basically, I don't believe you can pick a place on earth that doesn't have some type of natural disaster potential.

    Earthquake in Hawai'i October 2006 ...first one in 23....what a freaking mess.....no power, for 8 hours, roads were inaccessible....my experience being in the middle of literally nowhere with no neighbors but one....I can do without that experience again.

    Tsunami, well ...caused about 40 million plus in damages....the Mainland never knew it happened. Same with the earthquake. *HELLO!!!!* we are a STATE OF THE UNION! Other two tsunami's caused ZERO damage (very small) except they sure changed the beach.

    I was more interested in the changes to the beaches by the tsunami, as I am a beach explorer (with a guy friend we like to go off the beaten paths)
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    (with a guy friend we like to go off the beaten paths)
    To beat new paths? jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    My home in California has a creek. In a bad winter, we could flood, so we have flood insurance. Has it flooded in 32 years, nor do I think it will, but..... We also have earthquakes at least 2 times a week, and have earthquake insurance. We have had a few major shakers.

    In Hawai'i, we are REQUIRED (if you have a loan on your home) to have HURRICANE insurance. The last time a hurricane came through there was.....frankly I don't know as no one remembers one hitting Big Island, though IKI hit Kau'i in 1992, causing severe damage.

    We also have 5 volcano's. 1 Dormant. We don't have volcano insurance...don't know that I know of VOLCANO insurance, but I am sure if you really wanted it you could find it.

    We don't have tsunami insurance either, and we had 3 in three years.

    Basically, I don't believe you can pick a place on earth that doesn't have some type of natural disaster potential.

    Earthquake in Hawaii October 2006 ...first one in 23....what a freaking mess.....no power, for 8 hours, roads were inaccessible....my experience being in the middle of literally nowhere with no neighbors but one....I can do without that experience again.

    Tsunami, well ...caused about 40 million plus in damages....the Mainland never knew it happened. Same with the earthquake. *HELLO!!!!* we are a STATE OF THE UNION! Other two tsunami's caused ZERO damage (very small) except they sure changed the beach.

    I was more interested in the changes to the beaches by the tsunami, as I am a beach explorer (with a guy friend we like to go off the beaten paths)
    While it's true that anyplace can suffer a catastrophe, steps can be taken to minimize the risks. When you are looking for a place to call home, there are places that most likely will not have a problem in your lifetime and that's okay if you are aware of the risks. However I probably wouldn't live next to a volcano, or downstream of a dam or in a flood plain. In your case next to a low level beach where a surprise tsunami might wash me out. Also, I'm not partial to getting burned out or suffering mud slides if the fire just missed me. Then one should also avoid areas with a high crime rate as it would be a real shame to find the perfect place to live and then get hurt with a home invasion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    The nicest places I have ever lived were active earthquake zones and two were within sight of active volcanoes.
    Mount Fuji for one?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    .... However I probably wouldn't live next to a volcano, or downstream of a dam or in a flood plain.
    What do you think of this? Late '70s, a consortium of Utilities planned, received all permitting, proceeded to build one of the larger nuclear power plants outside of Phoenix, the Metro area then having well over a million population. Prevailing winds were westerly (FROM the west?). Of all sites proposed, construction commenced DUE WEST of Phoenix, perhaps 30 or 40 miles, just south of Interstate 10. Many were unhappy about the prospects....

    As work dragged on in the '80s, original planned costs escalated from something like $ 4.5 billion to $ 11 billion. Electric customers were livid, and rightly so. Numerous big problems come to mind, one of which was enormous coolant pumps which had failed during testing. Japanese designed and built, they admitted they had never built pumps that large before! Adequate backup funding was perilous. Having three reactor units, popular thought was the entire project might be scrapped; however, eventually, the first unit went on line, followed by the others.

    An Electrician friend and co-worker of mine, left the tennis ball manufacturing facility where we worked, to tackle the nuke plant. After several months, he told me he could never have imagined the red tape: each individual electrical connection he was responsible for, was inspected by many different factions, about 10 in all, this requiring a 1 hour job to take several days. Small wonder the cost over-runs were tremendous. The real kicker, to me, was that of the Utilities involved in ownership of the project, NOT ONE had any nuclear expertise whatsoever, no one with scientific technical ability to pre-judge many of the decisions to be made, or weigh the claims of the contracting companies, one of which I believe was the infamous Bechtel Corp.

    Now, having bored you to death, my wife and I lived there all during this fiasco. Would you have considered staying in the area, given all the negative wrong-turns involved? jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    .... However I probably wouldn't live next to a volcano, or downstream of a dam or in a flood plain.
    What do you think of this? Late '70s, a consortium of Utilities planned, received all permitting, proceeded to build one of the larger nuclear power plants outside of Phoenix, the Metro area then having well over a million population. Prevailing winds were westerly (FROM the west?). Of all sites proposed, construction commenced DUE WEST of Phoenix, perhaps 30 or 40 miles, just south of Interstate 10. Many were unhappy about the prospects....

    As work dragged on in the '80s, original planned costs escalated from something like $ 4.5 billion to $ 11 billion. Electric customers were livid, and rightly so. Numerous big problems come to mind, one of which was enormous coolant pumps which had failed during testing. Japanese designed and built, they admitted they had never built pumps that large before! Adequate backup funding was perilous. Having three reactor units, popular thought was the entire project might be scrapped; however, eventually, the first unit went on line, followed by the others.

    An Electrician friend and co-worker of mine, left the tennis ball manufacturing facility where we worked, to tackle the nuke plant. After several months, he told me he could never have imagined the red tape: each individual electrical connection he was responsible for, was inspected by many different factions, about 10 in all, this requiring a 1 hour job to take several days. Small wonder the cost over-runs were tremendous. The real kicker, to me, was that of the Utilities involved in ownership of the project, NOT ONE had any nuclear expertise whatsoever, no one with scientific technical ability to pre-judge many of the decisions to be made, or weigh the claims of the contracting companies, one of which I believe was the infamous Bechtel Corp.

    Now, having bored you to death, my wife and I lived there all during this fiasco. Would you have considered staying in the area, given all the negative wrong-turns involved? jocular
    That does sound like something to worry about. Let me ask you this. How have your property values been doing? However nuclear disasters are not very common, at least not proportional to the fear they generate. But nobody that lives in an air conditioned environment wants to pay a higher electric bill they hadn't bargained for. It seems like more and more contractors and utilities always suck the public in with unrealistically low estimates, because once money has been invested and the project started what are you going to do?
    jocular likes this.
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    In terms of human deaths per terawatt hour of electricity produced, nuclear power is one of the safest methods known. By that measure, it is safer than hydroelectricity, wind power, domestic solar cell, burning coal etc. The worst nuclear disaster ever was Chernobyl, which accounts for almost all human deaths from nuclear power, and the total of all people it has killed or will kill in the future is perhaps of the order of 30,000, according to the experts in the EU. A single hydroelectric dam burst in China in the 1970's killed 200,000 and made 11 million people homeless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    In terms of human deaths per terawatt hour of electricity produced, nuclear power is one of the safest methods known. By that measure, it is safer than hydroelectricity, wind power, domestic solar cell, burning coal etc. The worst nuclear disaster ever was Chernobyl, which accounts for almost all human deaths from nuclear power, and the total of all people it has killed or will kill in the future is perhaps of the order of 30,000, according to the experts in the EU. A single hydroelectric dam burst in China in the 1970's killed 200,000 and made 11 million people homeless.
    Yeah! Those dams are a real killer. They don't give much warning when they break.
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    [QUOTE=jocular;443973]... the infamous Bechtel Corp. ...[QUOTE]

    Why infamous?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    That does sound like something to worry about. Let me ask you this. How have your property values been doing? However nuclear disasters are not very common, at least not proportional to the fear they generate. But nobody that lives in an air conditioned environment wants to pay a higher electric bill they hadn't bargained for. It seems like more and more contractors and utilities always suck the public in with unrealistically low estimates, because once money has been invested and the project started what are you going to do?
    Seemingly, the "boom" in Phoenix went largely unaffected after the start up of Palo Verde Nuke facility. While construction was going on, we experienced difficult economic times personally, laid off, no work, etc., but after things perked up, and we had taken on construction of a custom home ourselves, we gradually became less worried about the nuke threat. Hell, Phoenix drivers pose daily far greater risks to one! We sold out and left in 1999, again not giving any thought to impending disaster (Y2K), and moved to a 90 acre place in the Missouri Ozarks. jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    In terms of human deaths per terawatt hour of electricity produced, nuclear power is one of the safest methods known. By that measure, it is safer than hydroelectricity, wind power, domestic solar cell, burning coal etc. The worst nuclear disaster ever was Chernobyl, which accounts for almost all human deaths from nuclear power, and the total of all people it has killed or will kill in the future is perhaps of the order of 30,000, according to the experts in the EU. A single hydroelectric dam burst in China in the 1970's killed 200,000 and made 11 million people homeless.
    Absolutely true, agree and understand! I used the example of Palo Verde because we happened to live in Phoenix then and witnessed the wild gyrations of both sides to the safety question, and also that many folks are clueless of the facts you mention above. A good thing you brought them to light! jocular
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    [QUOTE=sculptor;443997][QUOTE=jocular;443973]... the infamous Bechtel Corp. ...

    Why infamous?
    I seem to recall several incidents of serious fraudulant behavior and scandalous kick-back activity between them and several reigning Administrations. Bechtel also was only one of very few contracting organizations capable of pulling off a "turn-key" nuclear plant build. Each endeavor entered into allowed them to further apply expertise learned before to "cut corners", thus allowing underbidding. But it was good business acumen, you see, the making of money......

    If pressured to provide proof, I shall resign! jocular
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    They were also known for carrying ghosts(spooks) on their payrolls for government contracts.
    And, they expected their subcontractors to do the same.
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    To me the local or state or even Federal government should take the steps necessary to keep people away from dangerous places. As an example the homes built on the ocean front should not be allowed to be built no closer than 150 feet from the high water mark at any coastal, river or lake to insure that if any abnormal weather or tide should ever happen those living these wouldn't be as affected if they were living closer.

    But as everyone knows the government isn't trying to protect anyone in those areas and still permits people who lost their homes due to flooding or other calamity to rebuild on the same location to watch the same thing happen over and over. Now you know why you all are paying higher and higher insurance premiums every year. So lets hear it for the government who seems to only want to make more taxes as they tax those lib=ving in those areas more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    (with a guy friend we like to go off the beaten paths)
    To beat new paths? jocular
    There is an old saying....never piss off a redhead......

    I am a redhead......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    My home in California has a creek. In a bad winter, we could flood, so we have flood insurance. Has it flooded in 32 years, nor do I think it will, but..... We also have earthquakes at least 2 times a week, and have earthquake insurance. We have had a few major shakers.

    In Hawai'i, we are REQUIRED (if you have a loan on your home) to have HURRICANE insurance. The last time a hurricane came through there was.....frankly I don't know as no one remembers one hitting Big Island, though IKI hit Kau'i in 1992, causing severe damage.

    We also have 5 volcano's. 1 Dormant. We don't have volcano insurance...don't know that I know of VOLCANO insurance, but I am sure if you really wanted it you could find it.

    We don't have tsunami insurance either, and we had 3 in three years.

    Basically, I don't believe you can pick a place on earth that doesn't have some type of natural disaster potential.

    Earthquake in Hawaii October 2006 ...first one in 23....what a freaking mess.....no power, for 8 hours, roads were inaccessible....my experience being in the middle of literally nowhere with no neighbors but one....I can do without that experience again.

    Tsunami, well ...caused about 40 million plus in damages....the Mainland never knew it happened. Same with the earthquake. *HELLO!!!!* we are a STATE OF THE UNION! Other two tsunami's caused ZERO damage (very small) except they sure changed the beach.

    I was more interested in the changes to the beaches by the tsunami, as I am a beach explorer (with a guy friend we like to go off the beaten paths)
    While it's true that anyplace can suffer a catastrophe, steps can be taken to minimize the risks. When you are looking for a place to call home, there are places that most likely will not have a problem in your lifetime and that's okay if you are aware of the risks. However I probably wouldn't live next to a volcano, or downstream of a dam or in a flood plain. In your case next to a low level beach where a surprise tsunami might wash me out. Also, I'm not partial to getting burned out or suffering mud slides if the fire just missed me. Then one should also avoid areas with a high crime rate as it would be a real shame to find the perfect place to live and then get hurt with a home invasion.
    There is a real nice condo on Mars, I'd like to show you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    To me the local or state or even Federal government should take the steps necessary to keep people away from dangerous places. As an example the homes built on the ocean front should not be allowed to be built no closer than 150 feet from the high water mark at any coastal, river or lake to insure that if any abnormal weather or tide should ever happen those living these wouldn't be as affected if they were living closer.

    But as everyone knows the government isn't trying to protect anyone in those areas and still permits people who lost their homes due to flooding or other calamity to rebuild on the same location to watch the same thing happen over and over. Now you know why you all are paying higher and higher insurance premiums every year. So lets hear it for the government who seems to only want to make more taxes as they tax those lib=ving in those areas more.
    I have been through at least 5 earthquakes of 6.2 or larger. Rarely, except in higher population areas (we are rural) is the damage all that severe.

    I have also been through 3 tsunami's but we purposely did NOT by right by the beach for that reason.

    In Hawai'i, if you lose your house to Madame Pele, your land reverts to the State, so, if you build in an active flow area, you CHOSE to take that risk.

    I have lived in my home in very northern Coastal Cali for 32 years, on a creek. We have flood insurance, but it has never flooded. We also have earthquake insurance. We are required, if you have a loan by the State of Hawai'i to carry hurricane insurance, though I don't believe one, has ever hit Big Island. Iki hit Kau'i.
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    Quite a few hurricanes have hit the big island, but they are usually weakening and relatively low category. The real danger, one not nearly given enough emphasis by the media who focus on windspeeds, is the flooding rains--the windward side of the Big Island has had more than a dozen tropical storms/hurricane that drop more than a foot of rain.
    --
    How FEMA is set up and its community buy in for flood and storm insurance, as well as rules for federally backed conventional and rehab house loans, discourages building in disaster areas unless you have a lot of money and don't need the insurance and financing anyhow. It probably would be better if many of these areas were purchased back by the States or Feds as natural areas and buffers. Of course with man-made climate change and FEMA deeply underfunded to update their risks maps even in areas regularly hit by disasters-- they aren't nearly as good and the public as well armed to make decisions as they should be. Most of the maps in my area haven't been updated since the 1980s, despite decades of development, better weather/hydrology modeling and monitoring, new roads, forest cutting and major rivers, such as the Chehalis,, having been hit time and time again showing the old maps inadequate and inaccurate --it's rather maddening as a tax payer.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; July 27th, 2013 at 03:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    There is a real nice condo on Mars, I'd like to show you.
    I'm sure Mars has it's own problems to worry about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post

    I have been through at least 5 earthquakes of 6.2 or larger. Rarely, except in higher population areas (we are rural) is the damage all that severe.

    I have also been through 3 tsunami's but we purposely did NOT by right by the beach for that reason.

    In Hawai'i, if you lose your house to Madame Pele, your land reverts to the State, so, if you build in an active flow area, you CHOSE to take that risk.

    I have lived in my home in very northern Coastal Cali for 32 years, on a creek. We have flood insurance, but it has never flooded. We also have earthquake insurance. We are required, if you have a loan by the State of Hawai'i to carry hurricane insurance, though I don't believe one, has ever hit Big Island. Iki hit Kau'i.
    I notice you always spell Hawaii as Hawai'i (Hawaiian pronunciation). This is the first time I have ever seen anybody use that spelling. How long has it been around and do you use it because you are a resident of Hawaii?
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    To Babe

    About your 5 earthquakes of 6.2.

    The exact Richter scale value of an earthquake is only one measure of how damaging it will be. The other main factor is how close the epicentre is. That may be shallow or deep, close to you or far away. A 6.2 which is shallow and very close will, indeed, be most damaging.

    We had that roundly demonstrated in the city of Christchurch, here in NZ. We had two major earthquakes. The first was over 7 and did little damage due to being deep and a reasonable distance. The second was 6.8, but was shallow and close to the city. It virtually destroyed the central business centre, and killed over 100 people.
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    Aurthur Godfrey, for those old enough to remember him, loved Hawaii, and always pronounced it "HaWA-ee".   jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quite a few hurricanes have hit the big island, but they are usually weakening and relatively low category. The real danger, one not nearly given enough emphasis by the media who focus on windspeeds, is the flooding rains--the windward side of the Big Island has had more than a dozen tropical storms/hurricane that drop more than a foot of rain.
    --
    How FEMA is set up and its community buy in for flood and storm insurance, as well as rules for federally backed conventional and rehab house loans, discourages building in disaster areas unless you have a lot of money and don't need the insurance and financing anyhow. It probably would be better if many of these areas were purchased back by the States or Feds as natural areas and buffers. Of course with man-made climate change and FEMA deeply underfunded to update their risks maps even in areas regularly hit by disasters-- they aren't nearly as good and the public as well armed to make decisions as they should be. Most of the maps in my area haven't been updated since the 1980s, despite decades of development, better weather/hydrology modeling and monitoring, new roads, forest cutting and major rivers, such as the Chehalis,, having been hit time and time again showing the old maps inadequate and inaccurate --it's rather maddening as a tax payer.
    Those areas are generally used for growing pot.

    I have been going to BI for 25 years and have lived there starting on 10....Hilo, the windward side has really not had any major devastating rains in several years. Kona side, the leeward side has been in a horrible draught for several years. We have received on the leeward side, more rain this year than in the last three combined. However, we have had little snow on Mauna Kea this year.

    To say Hawai'i moves slow in all governmental things would be, well being kind. Most people forget that we are a part of the USA. I get the comment regularly, "When do you go back to the United States of America (USA), at which point I remind them we ARE a part of the USA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Aurthur Godfrey, for those old enough to remember him, loved Hawaii, and always pronounced it "HaWA-ee".   jocular
    Mr. Jocular!! *L*

    The correct pronunciation is HA VI EEEEE.....

    and Hawi is pronounced HA VEEE

    W is V in Hawai'i
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To Babe

    About your 5 earthquakes of 6.2.

    The exact Richter scale value of an earthquake is only one measure of how damaging it will be. The other main factor is how close the epicentre is. That may be shallow or deep, close to you or far away. A 6.2 which is shallow and very close will, indeed, be most damaging.

    We had that roundly demonstrated in the city of Christchurch, here in NZ. We had two major earthquakes. The first was over 7 and did little damage due to being deep and a reasonable distance. The second was 6.8, but was shallow and close to the city. It virtually destroyed the central business centre, and killed over 100 people.
    We had two actually. I was there... about 10 minutes apart..they call the second an aftershake but let me tell you my dishes were flying out of the cabinets...my paintings were flying off walls and my half ton pick up moved 6 inches almost into my car....and the water heater was almost off the wall.......

    Funny thing?

    I tried to get to the nearest town to call my husband. (NEVER HAVE SPRINT IN HAWAI'I) and couldn't get him. My SISTER in law called him to tell him. Most Mainland people had no idea we even had one. Amazing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post

    I have been through at least 5 earthquakes of 6.2 or larger. Rarely, except in higher population areas (we are rural) is the damage all that severe.

    I have also been through 3 tsunami's but we purposely did NOT by right by the beach for that reason.

    In Hawai'i, if you lose your house to Madame Pele, your land reverts to the State, so, if you build in an active flow area, you CHOSE to take that risk.

    I have lived in my home in very northern Coastal Cali for 32 years, on a creek. We have flood insurance, but it has never flooded. We also have earthquake insurance. We are required, if you have a loan by the State of Hawai'i to carry hurricane insurance, though I don't believe one, has ever hit Big Island. Iki hit Kau'i.
    I notice you always spell Hawaii as Hawai'i (Hawaiian pronunciation). This is the first time I have ever seen anybody use that spelling. How long has it been around and do you use it because you are a resident of Hawaii?
    I think I explained this in another post. In the Hawai'ian language, w is pronounced as a V.

    If you respect a culture you live in, you respect their pronunciations and their written word, in my opinion. Thus, yes, I live there and most anyone who does and is a resident would never spell it Hawaii.

    That is why we always chuckle when people ask how to get to Hawi.....HA WEE, ....it's Ha Vee.
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    Oh and SKEPTIC...our first earthquake was 6.7 or 6.8 or something like that..the aftershock was 6.1 or 6.2.

    I knew a few people on the water, surfing that morning and also a few in Kawaihae, who had been out fishing.......old Hawai'ian fisherman....he was on the dock...said the EQ hit and he was holding on for dear life....and it ended, then the 6.1 or 6.2 hit......and the first one didn't shake like the ones I am used to...like 15-20 seconds....The first one shook violently for 1 entire MINUTE....scared the crap out of me and I have been in BIGGER ones. NEVER one as violent as this.

    He told me....after the second (aftershock..ok ok...6.1 or 6.2 to me isn't an AFTERSHOCK) hit, that he was looking out at the ocean...and the water parted....about 100 yards off shore...he said you could see the bottom of the ocean...(probably about 40 or 50 feet deep there) ..fish were flying... and then it just came back together and was somewhat normal.......I asked him if his real name was "MOSES"......

    2006 Hawaii earthquake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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