Wildfire occurrences highest in October, California
Wildfires have taken a top spot in the news as of late. They cost American taxpayers between $20 billion and $100 billion every year, in expenses that range from air pollution and soil degradation to public health challenges and loss of human life.
If it weren’t for humans, wildfires might be more manageable. Four of the top five causes of wildfires are man-made: campfires, smoking, outdoor burning, vehicle exhausts and brakes – and the one natural cause, lightning.
No state is immune from wildfires, in fact they have occurred in all 50 states but California take the top spot, suffering the most and also the worst of these deadly fires. In 2012, the amount of land burned in California was seven times as much as all the other western states combined. Californians spent more than twice as much as the other states in fire suppression, too, well over a billion dollars.
Not surprisingly, the five most costly wildfires in United States history all happened in California. Occurring between 1991 and 2007, those fires did a total of more than $6.5 billion in damages. During 2003, in San Diego alone, almost 400,000 acres of land were burned and more than 3000 homes lost — along with almost $6B in lost business, medical costs and transportation system, watershed protection and infrastructure damage.
Vaults through the Ages
The Evolution of Vaults
Vaults are lockable enclosures that protect valuables against damage, theft or intrusion. In the history of data vaults, the first two thousand years saw vaults that were more intimidating than protective. They were mostly highly decorated boxes secured by an easily defeated lock. In ancient Egypt, locks were made of wood and vulnerable to forceful entry and the effects of age. With the advent of iron, locks became smaller and more reliable but were still easily picked. In the Middle Ages, the wooden box was reinforced by iron bands but still used ineffective locks. By the seventeen hundreds, locks were made more complicated in an effort to make them more effective; featuring elaborate keys, multiple locks, fake and hidden locks and other techniques — but vaults were still vulnerable to fire.
The introduction of steel ushered in a revolution in vault security and vaults became much more effective. Fire and chemical resistant, modern vaults often feature walls more than 15 inches thick encased in reinforced concrete and secured by the most complicated locking mechanisms ever devised. Some are designed to take 20 hours or more to break into. One vault in Hiroshima even survived a nuclear blast.
The Importance of Data Vaults
Today, information is often as valuable – sometimes more so — than the precious metals, currency and paper securities vaults were originally built to protect. Keeping information, or data, safe requires a much different sort of vault. Instead of thick walls of steel and concrete, data vaults require effective firewalls to keep intruders out. Instead of complicated mechanical locks, they require impenetrable encryption technologies to keep their contents from being stolen. Protecting information from destruction by fire or natural disaster lies in remote backup storage systems, not in concrete and steel.
Although data vaults look and work very differently than traditional vaults, they still serve the same function — keeping valuables secure against theft or damage – and nobody does it better than Global Data Vault. We can capture and secure information as it is generated anywhere in the world and protect it in multiple sites with state of the art encryption and firewall technologies in real time. That’s along way from a wooden box with a wooden lock.
Recent events remind us again that tornados often have a sad and deadly cost for the victims in its path. even an F-3 tornado can cause devastation and the total destruction of everything in its path. Homes are reduced to matchsticks, office buildings to piles of rubble. In 1997, the tornado that hit Jarrell, Texas, actually ripped the pavement right off a roadway. Tornadoes can destroy lives and possessions outright, and the after effect of their cost to a business can be felt long after the wind dies down.
The cost to clean up and restore the tornado-ravaged areas is rather surprising. Any tornado can steal irreplaceable data or keepsakes, however there have been only a few tornados that create horrific damage that captivates the news for weeks and rank off the charts in recovery costs. F-5 tornadoes have the potential to do damage of a billion dollars per tornado. Here’s where the numbers are interesting. In today’s money, three quarters of all tornadoes between 1953 and 2013, resulted in damages under $50,000. 300 of the 1200 tornadoes that occurred in this period did more than $50,000,000 in damages. Six percent created over $500,000 in damages. Yet, the top nine in this period did more than $6,000,000,000 in cumulative damages. The tornado that hit Oklahoma City in 2013 created, by itself, more than $2,000,000,000 in damages.
Tornados have occurred on every continent except Antarctica but, by far, the overwhelming majority occur in “Tornado Alley” in the United States, an area that includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, with some areas being more vulnerable than others. Between 1953 and 2013, 32 counties in the USA suffered 3 tornado disasters; 2 counties in OK suffered 4, 3 counties in Arkansas suffered 5 and Lonoke County in Central Arkansas was hit by 6 tornados.
One quarter of businesses that close after a disaster never reopen. All too often, that’s because they lose their data and recreating it, if possible, is simply cost-prohibitive. The only failsafe data disaster recovery lies in having networks and data backed up or replicated in more than one geographically and environmentally safe, remote location. To learn how Global Data Vault can provide the data protection to fit your needs and your budget, contact us.
Sources: Economic and Societal Impacts of Tornadoes, CoreLogic Storm Prediction Center