What can I say about
hundreds of thousands a million people evacuated from their homes uncertain as to whether those homes will be there when they come back?
I can’t think of a single thing. While it doesn’t seem possible, this disaster may rival Katrina for the number of people affected.
It is uncomfortable to think about, this situation, because it could visit us in Northern California at any time — we’ve had two major fires here in the Bay Area this summer; I am unlikely to be affected by a fire living as I do in downtown San Jose, at least 8 miles away from any open areas where a fire might start. Of course, there was a grass fire along the side of I-880, which is a block away; and a fire swept up Communications Hill, where my friends Mike and Jann live.
More threatening, I think, is the coming earthquake — we all know it is coming, and probably soon — but an evacuation can’t happen before the quake, only after, when the damage has been done. And that’s the part that worries me, the “big one” that leaves hundreds of thousands injured and homeless. I, for one, really don’t have any safety net for something like this. For instance, if my house were to be destroyed, I simply couldn’t rebuild it. Earthquake insurance has a very high deductible which I wouldn’t be able to meet, and I’m certainly not the only one in this situation. I can only begin to imagine what the effect on the economy would be with a large number of homes destroyed and the owners unable to rebuild — or even pay the mortgage on a pile of rubble.
We’ll have a small inkling of this when the insurance companies start totting up the toll of the fires down south. Let’s hope it is just money that is lost.