Stepping precariously out on a limb, ProtectAmerica.org predicts that California will suffer a severe earthquake! Panic is recommended.
The US Geological Survey, the Southern California Earthquake Center and the California Geological Survey today reported that California faces a 99.7 percent chance of being hit by a massive and destructive "Northridge-size" earthquake in the next three decades.
The organizations determined that the likelihood of a massive earthquake hitting California within the next 30 years is highest in Southern California where the odds of such an event are pegged at 97 percent. The likelihood of a massive earthquake rocking Northern California was determined to be 93 percent.
The Northridge Earthquake was a magnitude 6.7 temblor that struck in 1994, killed 72 people, destroyed thousands of homes and caused damages in excess of $25 billion. A similar earthquake in any of California 's densely populated cities could cause damages in excess of several hundred billion dollars.
"This should be a serious and stark warning regarding the vulnerability of our families to massive natural catastrophes and a call to action for policymakers in Washington," said James Lee Witt, co-chair of ProtectingAmerica.org and former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"American families need to be better prepared and protected from the ravages of natural catastrophe. We need a comprehensive and integrated program that minimizes potential damages and loss of life through mitigation and preparation, improves the resources and training available to our first responders when catastrophe strikes and assures our families that they will have the financial resource they need to repair, rebuild and recover in the aftermath of a massive natural event," Witt said.
The House of Representatives, in November, passed the, "Homeowners Defense Act of 2007," a bill that would encourage the creation of state catastrophe funds, financed by insurance company deposits, that would e used as a financial backstop to help pay claims resulting from catastrophic events and whose investment income would be partially dedicated to education, mitigation and first responder training and equipment.
The US Senate has yet to take action on the proposal.
ProtectingAmerica.org is a non-profit organization that is co-chaired by James Lee Witt, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Admiral James M. Loy, former deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security and former commandant of the US Coast Guard. The organization's membership includes the American Red Cross and other first responders, emergency management officials, disaster relief experts, insurers and others. Its members include more than 15,000 individuals and over 300 other organizations and businesses.
At the core of ProtectingAmerica.org's mission is the establishment of a comprehensive, integrated national catastrophe management solution that will better prepare and protect American families, communities, consumers and the American economy from catastrophe. ProtectingAmerica.org is working to increase public awareness and enhance consumer education; advocate for better coordination with local, state and federal mitigation and recovery efforts, and strengthen emergency response and financial mechanisms to rebuild after a major catastrophe.
The organization supports comprehensive federal legislation that would establish a privately financed national catastrophe fund that would serve as a backstop to state catastrophe funds. The funds' private deposits and the majority of its earnings could only be used to cover replacement and rebuilding costs following major catastrophic events. A portion of the funds' earnings would be dedicated to increase public and consumer education, strengthen first responders, and enhance building codes and their enforcement.
ProtectingAmerica.org was formed in 2005 to lead a concentrated effort to improve the way America prepares for and protects its families, communities, consumers and economy from catastrophe.
Comment: Notice who is heading up this organization. The former director of FEMA and a former deputy secretary of Homeland Security. And, true to form for those organizations, the best they can come up with is this. Just how much did they get paid to produce this report?
Only counting the earthquakes that have caused loss of life in California since the 1800's, one can be expected on average about every 16.5 years. Given that the Northridge quake happened in 1994, another might be expected somewhere in California by 2010.
This is the sort of report that is produced for no other reason that to keep people on edge. Be afraid...be very, very afraid! That is the message.