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What are the Chances? Natural Disasters in the United States

The World, March/April 2009, Volume XV, Issue 2

by Ellen Price, Editor
Topics: Disaster-Planning

When your clients take a summer vacation, are the homes and pets left behind in your care at risk for hurricane damage? How about earthquakes? Tornadoes? Do you know the risks in your area of the country?


If you don’t, you need to brush up on the potential for natural disaster in your geographic region and be prepared if you are faced with responsibilities for the safety of so many other lives in the face of a natural disaster.


The map below will give you a general idea of the risk of various types of natural disaster in your area. It was compiled by Harbor Insurance from national insurance claims for property damages as the result of natural disasters in the United States. As you can see, everything from earthquakes to tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and volcanoes are covered.



What about Blizzards? Note that blizzards are not included in the above data. Snowstorms that cause extreme loss of life and property damage are not common and there is not enough insurance data to pinpoint high-risk areas. According to National Geographic sources, the main risk of damaging snowfalls occurs in the Northern Great Plains. However, history also tells us that blizzards can occur just about anywhere—as far South as Texas or as far east as the New England States.


And Wildfires? It is also of interest to note that urban wildfires were excluded from all of the formal data in these studies. As the SustainLane researchers cited in the list at right noted, “Wildfire damage in modern cities typically affects only limited areas, the Oakland, California, firestorm of 1991 being one tragic exception.”


Recent wildfires in California, Colorado, Idaho and other Mountain States have affected PSI members and their clients. Again, it is a case of knowing the potential for any particular situation in your area and making plans and preparations to deal with it if that situation occurs.



 To find a professional pet sitter in your area, visit the PSI Locator.


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