Haiti: Is California Paying Attention?

As earthquakes go, the 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California didn’t come close to “the Big One” that threatens to blow. Better preparation could lessen the damage, but California remains largely unprepared.

In an article on the Los Angeles Times website, Cathleen Decker says that for Californians, the January 12th earthquake in Haiti was a “chilling look into the future” but that few are prepared, even after decades of warnings. She says people tend to focus only on the worst-case scenarios they have already experienced and survived – such as the Northridge quake – but that “the long-predicted Big One” could be “exponentially more powerful than this month’s devastating one in Port-au-Prince.”

According to the article, the state’s earthquake insurance authority says only 12% of people who insure their homes have added earthquake protection. That’s partly due to complacency and, Decker writes, partly because of the steep cost of insurance. A move from Congress and California senators to reduce rates and deductibles, if pushed through, could help.

To read the Los Angeles Times article, please click here:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-week17-2010jan17,0,4714976.story