Keith Clarke, CBE, FREng, FICE, RIBA, Chairman, speaking on “Forum for the Future,” at the Bentley Year In Infrastructure 2019 thought leadership conference in Singapore in October, pointed out that recycling bins throughout the convention center have a sign above them stating, “the greatest threat to the planet is that we think somebody else will save it.”
Archive for the ‘wildfire risk’ Category
CoreLogic®, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, recently announced the launch of its new publicly-accessible risk information resource center, Hazard HQ(tm). This new information hub will offer individuals, media and companies high-level analyses and up-to-date data insights on the immediate risks natural catastrophes pose to properties across the country.
The latest risk summary for Hazard HQ focuses on the ongoing California wildfires. As comprehensive risk assessment needs increase alongside growing economic losses from natural catastrophes, Hazard HQ offers a high-level risk perspective for individuals and companies who wish to understand how hazards like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, severe convective storms, wildfires, wind and volcanic activity can impact their regions.
Senior leader of content and strategy for CoreLogic, Maiclaire Bolton Smith, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the new resource center and how it is dedicated to offering catastrophe insights about events while they are happening.
Does Hazard HQ take in citizen information?
No, it focuses on information from CoreLogic. Corelogic can provide insight and information, whether wildfire, hurricane, earthquake or flooding, and offers insights on number of properties that could be at risk, or on an area that could be impacted and the home value that could be lost. No information is pulled from citizens. It’s our opportunity to share information with others to help them protect themselves and be able to restore from financial catastrophe.
It really evolved as a way for us to share information easily.
We’ve had all these devastating wildfires this summer already. We always try to learn from the events that have happened. We’ll always be providing more information on research. For example, with regard to the wildfire that happened in Sonoma County, California last year that impacted Santa Rosa, over the past six months we’ve done a lot of research looking at the reconstruction from that wildfire and the state of the homes being rebuilt and looking at some of the insurance impacts and implications from that event happening. An event doesn’t end when an event ends, it’s a long process afterwards to really recover from it, so we will continue to share more information on an ongoing basis as we continue to research events.
How do you expect risk analysis you’ve done last year is going to impact or help in the assessment of the damage of the Mendocino fire, as an example, right now?
The biggest factor is that it brings awareness to the impact that these devastating events do have. We hear about the hundreds of thousands of acres burned, but a lot of times the fires are burning in remote areas and there are not a lot of properties at risk. It’s devastating to see the area burned, but what we want to focus on is bringing awareness to insurers and other people about where there are homes and properties at risk, and focus on the human aspects of it. What people can take away from our previous research, is
- Being prepared for hazards that could happen, whether it be a flood, earthquake, hurricane, etc. We’re prone to disasters all the time in various parts of the country.
- Awareness of the events that can happen, and our main goal is to work with insurance companies and help them understand what properties are valued at to be able to insure properties properly.
- The general public needs to know they need insurance for a lot of these hazards. Insurance can really help them recover from events when they do happen. Hopefully they won’t be impacted but if they are, to know their risk and to be able to accelerate their recovery is a huge bonus.
Say a customer is obtaining insurance for things they expect but what about these events that happen way beyond anyone’s expectations?
Unfortunately, those rare events are the wild card that are really beyond planning scenarios. I’m actually a seismologist by training and I spend a lot of time training people to know their earthquake risk. I always say the number one thing people can do to prepare for an earthquake, is believe that it can happen, and that’s the same with all disasters. The possibility is there that it may occur. These are hard for people to conceptualize and plan for.
At CoreLogic we do risk modeling where we look at the range of events that can happen – the more common events to the very extreme events. That’s the information we provide to insurance companies, including what could the worst-case scenario even look like.
I have spoken to CoreLogic many times. In the past the company has said with the fires we’re expecting an increase in losses to homes because people have built closer to forests, and forests are not cleared as often, we run the higher risk.
In an interview with Rei Goffer, ClimaCell, CSO, GISCafe Voice discussed the company’s partnership with Autodesk BIM 360 announced at Autodesk University 2017.
At Esri FedGIS 2016 I sat in on a session, entitled, “Land and Natural Resources Management – Effective Planning, Analysis and Communication.”
21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) to Convene in Paris MondayTuesday, November 24th, 2015
France will chair and host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), from 30 November to 11 December 2015. The conference is crucial because the expected outcome is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C, a level that would ensure safety of the planet’s fragile resources. If that level is not achieved, it could have devastating consequences on world populations and survival.
One of the challenges of the Paris agreement, where heads of state will all gather, will be to establish a periodic – ideally five-year – review mechanism to raise the ambition of each Party and progressively improve the collective effort toward keeping global warming below 2°C.
Each country represented will obviously have reasons to participate but also issues, largely economic and political, that may create a climate of resistance to the review mechanism.
CoreLogic recently released new wildfire data, the CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Analysis, that states that nearly 900,000 single-family homes across 13 states in the western U.S. are currently designated at “High” or “Very High,” risk for wildfire damage, representing a combined total reconstruction value estimated at more than $237 billion. Of the total homes identified, just over 192,000 homes fall into the “Very High Risk” category alone, with total reconstruction cost valued at more than $49.6 billion. Other categories include “Moderate” and “Low” risk. GISCafe spoke with Dr. Tom Jeffery of CoreLogic to find out the scoop on this important new information for homeowners, insurance companies and other stakeholders.
Dr. Tom Jeffery: In the past we used what’s called the assessed property value which is based on tax assessment. We’ve actually changed that so it matches what we do with storm surge which is reconstruction value of these homes. This is going to be the cost of labor and materials in each of the different locations to replace the structure that would be lost in the event that a wildfire destroyed the whole thing. California is right at the top of the list, in most cases, because of wildfire risk throughout the state, but Colorado and Texas are also states that are usually ranked very high. They continue to do so through this report. There is one overarching factor that pops out whenever we do these reports. When we see results for the first time, we see how many homes are at risk in the total U.S. and what those values are. They are exceptionally high in those areas.
GISCafe Voice: What determines what states are ranked high?
TJ: Because you have large population centers in California, Texas and Colorado, and those urban areas that continue to grow, the pace of the growth is going to grow from year. All three of those states continue to have urban expansion and new homes constructed continue to push out into areas that have higher risk. There’s a lot of risk in those three states as well. A lot of people and a lot of risk is a combination that put those three to the top of the list.
GISCafe Voice: How do you assess the risk score?
TJ: The risk score itself is really based on several factors we combine, the first is the risk on the property, and that determines our categories of high, moderate high and very high, those determine the risk on the property. It’s based on what fuel is there, based on vegetation, if there’s change of terrain, if there’s a steep slop which enhances the risk, that determines the category. But for the score we actually want to look outside the property boundary to risk in close proximity to that property. So if you own a property maybe you have a nice manicured lawn, decorative trees, you don’t have any risk on the property. But just outside the boundary there could be a lot of chaparall in Southern California, for instance, a dense conifer or pine forest, in other areas. If that exists really close to your property that raises the risk value.
So we measure the distance from a property to what’s around it in terms of risk and then we add that to the category or risk on the property, and we add that to the score. The score is going to be 0-100 numeric-based and anything that’s 80 and above is extremely high risk. We have those broken out in the tables, so you can see even though if you look at the U.S. as a whole, there are going to be 192,000 properties that are listed as very high. And that’s looking at the risk on the property. As soon as we look at the score – and the score 81-100, we go from 192,000 all the way up to 1.1 million. So really those homes on the urban edge pushing out in to the wilder areas are the ones that the score is picking up and that’s why the scores are jumping from 192,000 to 1.1 million. It’s the homes that don’t have the risk within their borders and boundaries but have it just outside that are at most risk.
GISCafe Voice: What are insurance companies concerned with when they consult with you?
TJ: Most of those discussions with insurance company representatives revolve around mitigation, which is, how can homeowners reduce the risk on the property and which properties need that? More and more insurance companies have to write these policies and there are so many high risk policies they can’t ignore. What they’re trying to do more and more is identify the high risk properties, then identify ways they can talk to land and homeowners and clear brush around the homes, make sure it’s not a wood shake roof, all these things do to reduce the risk on higher risk. It helps homeowner in the long run because it’s less risk for their home, also helps insurance companies so they both benefit from things homeowners can do to reduce risk on property.