A Brief History of Assessing Earthquake Risk

Posted by Ivan Maddox on May 19, 2015 3:29:00 PM

Our planet is not a solid piece of rock, but rather a boiling slush of magma, with slight movements across the surface hinting at the dynamic inner depths of the planet. Sometimes, the evidence of that inner activity is unleashed as a massive release of energy that rends and shakes the surface of the Earth — a.k.a, an earthquake.

Unlike most natural processes, geology happens over immensely long time frames. Earthquakes (and their Volcanic cousins) occur at intervals that are sometimes longer than the entirety of human history. Interestingly, earthquake records actually comprise some of the earliest historical records we possess. 

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Topics: Natural Hazard Risk, Natural Catastrophe, Other Risk Models, Earthquake

When It Comes to Wind, Location-Based Risk Info Is Not Important

Posted by Ivan Maddox on May 14, 2015 10:39:00 AM

One of the main recurring themes of The Risks of Hazard blog is the importance of location-based risk information. However, there is one major peril that does not require such property-specific data: wind.

Wind is one of the most destructive perils that can be insured against. Thus, it is very well modeled around the world, including USA hurricane, European windstorm, Asia/Pacific cyclone, and straight-line wind in convective storm. Wind does not include tornadoes, which are associated with convective storm models.

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Topics: Natural Hazard Risk, Location-Based Intelligence, Other Risk Models

Does your wildfire model include ember zones? It should.

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Mar 31, 2015 10:34:15 AM

Here in Colorado, where Intermap is based, one of the most dramatic fires in recent memory was the Waldo Canyon fire, which engulfed some of the western suburbs of Colorado Springs in 2012. It was an intense wildfire that stormed down the front range incredibly fast and consumed almost 350 homes. However, most of those houses weren’t behind the fire-line — they were ignited by embers blown by the same winds that blew the fire down the mountains.

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Topics: Natural Hazard Risk, Wildfire, Other Risk Models

The Challenges of Risk Modeling for Severe Convective Storm

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Mar 19, 2015 3:52:00 PM

Severe Convective Storm is, generally speaking, the type of storm responsible for damage from tornado, hail, “straight-line” wind (i.e., not a tornado), and lightning. (For a more thorough, academic definition of SCS I will point you toward the American Meteorological Society.) Recently, I have begun researching how to present risks related to SCS in the USA and Canada, and I've come across some interesting challenges.

Modeling these types of natural events to a level where individual properties can be evaluated is not easy, if it’s even possible. There is no direct influence from anything in a fixed location (terrain, vegetation, etc.) — all the primary drivers are atmospheric. So, unlike flood or wildfire, SCS risk models need to portray the likelihood of an event that could happen anywhere (within certain bounds). Not an easy task.

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Topics: Natural Hazard Risk, Natural Catastrophe, Other Risk Models

Burning Issues in Wildfire Management

Posted by Michael Wollersheim on Jan 28, 2015 10:57:00 AM

This post proudly features guest writer Michael Wollersheim, geomatics scientist and lead engineer at Intermap Technologies.

In the preceding three years, I have had the great pleasure of attending some of the foremost conferences on wildland fire hosted by organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF). I have also been fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the world-class Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory at the Rocky Mountain Research Station to speak with some of the leading researchers in this complex field of science, economics, and politics.

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Topics: Natural Hazard Risk, Risk Management, Wildfire, Other Risk Models

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Welcome to The Risks of Hazard, brought to you by Intermap Technologies®. From the latest industry news and trends, to insight from thought leaders around the globe, stay tuned for a variety of content aimed at helping you better understand the role of location-based intelligence in the world of insurance underwriting and risk assessment.

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