Archived: Our Shelters from the Storm


Property owners who resent the government for telling them to take steps to secure their buildings against a possible earthquake should take a close look at the devastation and loss of life caused by the massive tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma Monday.
That tragedy should serve as a lesson that there is reason to take steps to protecting one’s assets against a potentially as devastating earthquake.
Many older Americans can still recall that it was a common practice in places like Oklahoma and Kansas and across the region that has come to be known as Tornado Alley, for homes and businesses to have “storm cellars” where people could take refuge from the force of tornado strike. Anyone who has seen the movie the Wizard of Oz will likely remember the frantic effort of Dorothy’s family to escape the wrath of a tornado that ultimately swept Dorothy and her beloved dog Toto away.
It is not our intent to trivialize the recent event, but to call attention to the fact that in the interest of saving a few bucks now, we are at times willing to gut policies that will cost us more dearly down the line.
In this age of instant news, we have all become aware that extreme weather events, such as tornados, hurricanes, floods and windstorms seem to be more common and more devastating. It may be that the constant news cycle is just making us more aware, though we don’t think that’s all it is. Whatever the reason, these tragic events seem to have done little to increase our sense of urgency when it comes to being better prepared.
In California we daily face the possibility of a massive earthquake. No one can predict when or where it will strike, or how long it will last.
But we do know it is coming.
We must make sure that our schools and public buildings have been properly retrofitted for that eventuality.
So as we mourn and attempt to aid the people in Moore, Oklahoma, we should be making sure that we are as prepared as we can be for our next “Big One.”

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