People don't usually associate earthquakes with climate change but they are intimately connected and must be considered together. Scientists are warning that the impacts of global warming could make earthquakes more damaging and more deadly. Climate change is increasing the frequency of wildfires in California, which can exacerbate mudslides — this lethal combination could double fatalities and economic loss following a big quake.
Californians are ready for the next big quake. The state is one of the world leaders in preparedness, as evidenced by its glowing track record with previous earthquakes. Since 1933, no earthquake in the state has caused more than 100 fatalities. While there has been property damage, the implementation of aggressive and proactive building codes coupled with emergency preparedness have saved lives in earthquakes that would devastate less-prepared areas of the world.
California's current building code fools people into thinking that every structure is up-to-code, earthquake-proof, and will withstand serious damage when the ground starts to shake. This is a false assumption, as the weak building codes are meant to prevent building collapse and little else. Households need to prepare for the fact that humans are the ones who cause disasters in the end — California is no exception.