1. New [California] state disaster-aid
January 8, 2006
A national coalition dedicated to preparing Americans for
natural disasters recently launched a California affiliate in Sherman Oaks,
pledging to create a fund for people without enough insurance.
James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, and retired Adm. James M. Loy, former deputy secretary of the
Department of Homeland Security, co-chair the national coalition
ProtectingAmerica.org. The new affiliate, ProtectingCalifornia.org, will focus
on financially preparing Californians for the next big earthquake. The fund,
paid into by insurance companies and private investors, would cover insurance
claims that exceed homeowners' coverage.
2. Fire Victims' Ordeal Lingers Long After The
Originally titled "Home? Not Yet" in the LA
Dec 11, 2005
Los Angeles Times
For some Southern Californians, the notion of being home
for the holidays is a particularly poignant wish -- the same one they had last
year. Although the ashes from the disastrous wildfires that swept from San
Bernardino to San Diego counties two years ago have long turned cold, many fire
victims are still trying to put their lives back together.
3. What's the best way to
January 16, 2006
Disaster News Network
After riveting disaster images evaporate from TV news,
public compassion dries up - just when disaster survivors need focused help.
Months, weeks - sometimes even days - after a disaster,
it's hard to recreate the wave of "armchair urgency" people feel when they're
soaking in graphic footage. Some people show up early at a disaster site with
good intentions but little preparation, said Bernard Scrogin, a veteran
responder with Lutheran Social Services of Texas and Louisiana.
4. A Policy of Deceit
December 19, 2005
New York Times
By JIM HOOD
the Mississippi Gulf Coast withstood a devastating blow from Hurricane Katrina.
Now, as they face the enormous task of rebuilding, they are threatened with yet
another crippling misfortune - this time at the hands of insurance companies,
which are trying to deny coverage. That's why the State of Mississippi has filed
suit to get the courts to clarify that insurance companies must cover the water
damage that policyholders sustained from the hurricane.
For years these
companies have sold policies that insure Gulf Coast residents against loss from
the effects of hurricane winds. The people who bought these policies reasonably
believed that they were covered for damage ranging from a blown-off roof to a
four-foot surge of water in the house. But now that the homes and businesses of
many policyholders have been destroyed or seriously damaged, these insurance
companies are denying coverage on the ground that their policies excluded water
5. Taxing questions for disaster
Feb 5, 2006
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Almost five months after Hurricane
Katrina chased Yolonda Prevost from her East New Orleans neighborhood to her
sister's place in Kansas City, she spends her days trying to get back home
searching for apartments and arranging for repairs to her drowned house.
The last thing Prevost wants to worry about is doing her
6. Be prepared for disasters
January 22, 2006
John Garamendi, state insurance commissioner, last
week urged homeowners to guard against financial ruin in the event of another
catastrophe like the Northridge earthquake, which hit the Southland 12 years ago
on Jan. 17, 1994.
"Most Californians who own homes have spent their entire
lives building toward that purchase," he said in a statement. "Don't let a
disaster wipe out that accomplishment and your finances in seconds. Update your
insurance policies now and make sure that your coverage is adequate."
7. A Lesson on the Need for a Home
If your house is ruined, a video of its contents will
help when you file a claim with your insurer. But most people don't go to the
January 29, 2006
It was 4 a.m. and wind-whipped
flames were licking the trees 100 yards from my back window. A brush fire was
threatening my house and everything in it.
I was preparing to evacuate — some of my neighbors were
already gone — and I realized I had no inventory of the belongings I might have
to leave behind. As my kids were throwing photo albums, overnight bags and the
dogs into the car, I cursed myself for not following my own good advice.
8. Better planning could cut fire
PREVENTION: With millions of dead trees still in the
forest, zoning should be more strict, experts say.
January 13, 2006
By BEN GOAD / The Press-Enterprise
Better recognition of the Inland area's vulnerability is
needed among the region's planners and builders to prevent a repeat of the
devastating 2003 firestorms, participants of a three-day fire-prevention summit
Dozens of firefighters, forest managers and community
leaders from Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties discussed their
findings at the culmination of Living with Fire in Chaparral Ecosystems, a
conference held in Riverside.
9. Friends in need
personal touch to Katrina aid
By CLAUDIA BUSTAMANTE / The Press-Enterprise
When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, ravaging New Orleans and
other areas, many Americans took action.
But now, more than five months later, the damage still lingers and the
attention has waned.
10. Beware Katrina-fouled cars
buckets hit market in West
January 26, 2006
By PHIL PITCHFORD and MICHAEL FISHER / The Press-Enterprise
thousands of vehicles that sat submerged in saltwater and sewage after Hurricane
Katrina slammed New Orleans are slowly creeping into the supply of used cars
being sold around the country, experts say.
The cars, which officials say have already made their way to California and
nine other states, are being rehabilitated and reregistered, sometimes more than
once, by unscrupulous sellers who are trying to wash away evidence that the
vehicles were ever in such bad shape.