When Mother Nature Strikes

So often I’ve sat on my sofa and watched natural disasters claim homes and lives. Often times there isn’t much a person could have done to avoid the situation. Every region of the world has its natural occurrences that can cause major damage. Hurricanes are a natural occurrence on the east coast and gulf region. Tornadoes are a reality in the Midwest and Plain states. Earthquakes and forest fires are something that folk in the western part of the country have to contend with - most notably, California. People do what they can to minimize the risk but when Mother Nature strikes, we are simply left to her mercy. I should say that most people do what they can to minimize the risk. Apparently, there is still a segment of the population that refuses to deal with reality – specifically when choosing building locations.

Yesterday, 28 Laguna Beach homes were either destroyed or damaged by a landslide. The people who purchased or built these multi-million dollar homes knew the risk and the recent history of the area. In 1978, a landslide destroyed 24 homes in that area. In fact, geologist questioned the logic of allowing people to build homes there in 1979. The area is so unstable that insurance companies won’t insure homeowners for damages caused by landslides. So for the life of me I cannot understand why people choose to live there. One homeowner was even quoted as saying, “We knew this was bound to happen sooner or later. We were just fighting Mother Nature – and Mother Nature won.” You idiot – that is what I thought when I heard his statement. Most people amassed their fortunes by sitting on the properties while the market ballooned the value of their homes. I wonder what will happen to home value in the area now. I don’t think there will be many people vying to pay $2 million for a home only to see it get swept away with tons of mud and forest debris. But I suspect there are many people that won’t learn the lesson that has been given to Laguna Beach – twice. There is a saying that goes, ‘God looks out for old folks and fools’. And it’s apparent that Mother Nature doesn’t.