Laguna Niguel, CA May 11, 2022-Firefighters fight wildfires at Coronado Pointe in Laguna Niguel on Wednesday.
Wally Skalij | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Raging New Mexico and California wildfires may provide an ominous outlook not only for the West, but for the growing American belt.
The risk of wildfires is increasing, probably due to global warming, and its destruction is becoming more and more expensive. Of the wildfires tracked by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 1980, 66% of the damage has occurred in the last five years. Yale University reported that last year’s wildfires totaled $ 5 billion in insurance losses, surpassing $ 2 billion for the seventh consecutive year.
Wildfire risk modeling is more important than ever to protect life and property, and new technologies from Brooklyn-based nonprofits. First Street FoundationMaps threats with home-by-house specificity.
First Street uses everything from property tax data to satellite imagery. Assign a wildfire risk score It takes into account the type of construction, the type of roof, the weather, and exposure to natural fuels such as trees and grass.
Matthew Ebby, Founder and Executive Director of the First Street Foundation, said: “The idea is that one house may have a wildfire with the same probability as another, but it’s easy to burn.”
Certain homes can be more vulnerable due to their building materials, the protective space around them, or the type of roof. The company models imminent risks to American homes and adjusts to projected climate change.
“You can then use a supercomputer to simulate the current 100 million wildfire scenarios and another 100 million scenarios in the predicted weather conditions 30 years from now,” Eby said. increase.
First Street provides a unique score and unique risk probability for every home.It did the same for the water threat Realtor.com Give a flood score to all properties on the home sales website. This feature is currently the second most clicked map on Realtor.com, second only to school district data on grades from kindergarten to high school.
Sarablington, Lead Project Manager at Realtor.com, said:
Potential buyers and homeowners who find flood and fire scores on Realtor.com can click the link to the details on the First Street site to find the best way to protect their home. increase.
“Every month, we get tens of millions of impressions of flood factor data,” Eby said.
According to a recent survey by Realtor.com and analytics firm HarrisX, more than 71% of recent homebuyers have taken natural disasters into account when considering where to move. About half of the respondents report that they are more concerned about today’s natural disasters than they were five years ago.
The First Street fire model pays particular attention to what is called the “city interface of the wilderness” where housing development hits the woodlands.
According to First Street, at least 10 million properties are ranked somewhere between “serious” and “extreme” wildfire risks. Flood risk increases by about 25% over 30 years, but in unexpected locations such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas, the overall risk of wildfires doubles and jumps by more than 200%.
This change helps explain why big companies like NuveenRealEstate are buying data to signal their investment.
“First Street data helps us to take a very closer look at how buildings are affected, and more importantly, how this increased risk can be reflected in underwriting.” Nuveen Jessica Long, Head of Sustainability for the US Real Estate Portfolio, said. “We use the data as part of new investment screening and as part of our annual business planning process.”
For homeowners, this information not only guides them in buying a home, but also helps protect the homes they already own. For example, a fire score can help inform you of small changes to mitigate that risk, such as landscaping or ventilation adjustments. Experts say it’s much easier to protect a house from a wildfire than to protect it from a major flood.
When First Street introduced the flood scoring feature, the data faced concerns that it might reduce the value of high-risk homes. Brinton of Realtor.com said there were few complaints, but added that “in areas with high flood risk scores, housing ratings may be slightly slower.”