Catherine Hooper's Blog
Napa Earthquake
Thursday, 28 August 2014 20:19

This past Sunday, a 6.0 earthquake jolted the Napa Valley in California.  Damage reports are still being updated, but there appear to be no fatalities. This is due in large part to California’s stringent building codes and standards. Napa has not had a significant quake since 1989.

One of the more surprising facts to come out of the earthquake: only 10% of property insurance holders in California have earthquake insurance!

Experts think that the decline in earthquake coverage is due to both cost and the rarity of the events. As this past weekend showed, earthquake damage can be significant. Many vineyards and wine producers in Napa suffered significant damage.

 
Survival Tourism
Thursday, 21 August 2014 20:41

Outdoor Magazine posted a story about a group of tourists traveling throughout Indonesia.  Apparently, their boat sank and they were able to survive in the water for approximately 18 hours.  The group finally made it to an island...which was also home to a volcano...which was also erupting.  Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!

The story does have a happy ending, as the group was safely rescued by a passing fishing boat.

 
Planes & Tornados
Friday, 15 August 2014 16:47


The U.K. has been experiencing severe weather over the past few weeks.  On Thursday, a lucky photographer snapped the picture above, showing a RyanAir flight taking off in front of tornado funnel.

Tornados pose a risk to airplanes, as an early warning system for planes does not exist.

 
Hawaii Hurricanes
Friday, 08 August 2014 09:00

For the first time in 22 years, Hawaii is about to experience a hurricane or tropical storm making landfall...possibly two.  Hurricane Iselle (downgraded to a tropical storm early this morning) is set to make landfall, with Hurricane Julio expected to arrive over the weekend or next week.

Hawaii has not experienced a significant hurricane since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

 
Toledo’s Water Crisis
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 20:28


This past weekend, the city of Toledo, which sits on the banks of Lake Erie, underwent a surprising water crisis. A massive toxic algae bloom in the lake had moved close to the city’s water intake pipe, several miles offshore.  On Saturday morning, officials were issuing the following warning:

URGENT NOTICE TO RESIDENTS OF TOLEDO & LUCAS COUNTY WHO RECEIVE WATER FROM THE CITY OF TOLEDO

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER. DO NOT BOIL THE WATER.

Residents saw an almost immediate shortage of bottled water...including water price gouging...and the governor declared a state of emergency. As of Tuesday morning, the crisis seems to have abated, but it leaves behind a number of questions about the economy of water. If your tap water was non-potable and unable to be used for ANYTHING, what would you do?

 
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