That is the headline from an article in The Atlantic today. It focuses on insurance policies and the way homeowners look at threats and how climate change is causing a large shift.

One part jumps out:“Eighteen of the 20 largest fires in California history have happened since the turn of the millennium—12 of them since 2016.”

The point is that few people actually take the threat of natural disasters seriously when considering a home. We do, of course, consider flood, because there is a map that delineates flood zones and it’s part of the inspection. However, even that map has been updated adding millions of homes to the list. Is there a map showing the possibility of wildfire? Or earthquake? Or tsunami? Or hurricane?

Actually, there are. I have them in The Green Beret Area Study Workbook. This isn’t an esoteric exercise on my part. My wife and I have been house-hunting for a while and besides it being a terrible market for buyers, we also are limited in the places we see as viable. I love the southwest, but large swathes of that are in an epic drought that is unlikely to be alleviated in the foreseeable future and will get worse. Dams are reaching stages never before seen. It’s not just the water. When those dams go below a certain level, they can no longer produce power.

All the elements of mankind and nature are connected.

I wrote The Area Study Workbook because an Area Study is the first thing we did when we got a mission packet in Special Forces to go somewhere in the world and do an operation. We wanted to learn all we could about our Area of Operations. I think it is essential for everyone to do that.

Even if you’ve lived in the same place all your life, I guarantee there are potential disasters that you’ve never considered because they’ve never happened before. We had a town in TN slammed when a levee along a rail line gave way during extreme flooding. Gatlinburg had an unprecedented wildfire a few years back that killed many who didn’t expect it and didn’t know their evacuation routes. We used to live less than a quarter mile from where the recent devastating wildfire in Colorado was—if the wind had turned slightly north, our old house would have been gone. We always knew the likelihood of a wildfire coming from the Open Space was high and also tracked the weather conditions for threat level.

It’s critical that we all assess our homes and the area we live in from a very different perspective. We do this in order to be prepared and to know what to do in an emergency. Know not only what the threats are, but also the assets in your area. The world is changing and we need to change with it. So do an Area Study!

Stay safe!