Thursday, September 2, 2010

Earthquake Insurance

I have a question for all my Midwestern friends and family... How many of you are paying for earthquake insurance? I bet I will have a hard time finding someone who does. The scary thing is that we all SHOULD be paying for it, since we live in the area with the biggest fault line in the continental United States: The New Madrid Fault line.

When looking up facts on, I discovered that the New Madrid Fault line, centrally located in New Madrid, MO... which is just North of the bootheel, has produced four (yes four) of the largest earthquakes in North America. These four happened between December 1811 and February 1812. The following video describes the chronological timeline of these quakes:

Yes, these quakes caused a lot of major damage. There were thousands of aftershocks, some still felt years later. The city of New Madrid was completely destroyed. There were landslides, collapsed riverbanks, trees were uprooted, and parts of the Mississipi River created waterfalls (and at Kentucky Bend, Reelfoot Lake was formed).

This could have been worse.

How, do you say? Let me explain.

That was back in the early 1800's, when everyone had a home sitting on acres of farmland. This was before skyscrapers, highways and subdivisions. Once we entered the Industrial Revolution, everything changed.

I want everyone to find the closest window and look outside. Do you see everything out there? Imagine all of that destroyed in just seconds. That is very possible for our future.

Sometime last year, I was watching the Weather Channel around one or two in the morning. It was an episode of "It Could Happen Tomorrow." Guess what the topic was? Yep. The New Madrid Fault line. I found some of the episode, however, I wasn't allowed to embed it. Please watch this. There are 3 videos in a row, totaling about 5-6 minutes.

Now do you understand why I think the ones in 1811/1812 could have been way worse? If you think what happened during Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath with FEMA was bad... just wait. This will be 10 times worse, easily.

FEMA did file a report back in 2008 warning that having a serious earthquake measuring 7.7 or higher would "result in the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States, further predicting "widespread and catastrophic" damage across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and particularly Tennessee. It would cause damage to tens of thousands of structures affecting water distribution, transportation systems, and other vital infrastructure." Even one of my local new stations did a small story on it.

The popularity for keeping up with this fault line has generated its own website.

It is extremely informative. Everything you want or need to know can be found here. It logs daily quakes, addresses predictions, and even allows you to share information on Facebook. I will be referring to this site from time to time.

Now that I've made my point... how many of you are logging onto your insurance sites and getting quotes on Earthquake insurance???

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