Ich bin ein stupid-zoner


In Ed Quillen's article "Change We Could Believe In," the term "stupid zones" is defined as "an area that is stupid to build in on account of predictable dangers -- avalanches, forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides, floods, etc." (HCN, 12/22/08). A quick search on the Web site for the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association reveals that hailstorms are the most frequent and expensive (in terms of insurance payouts) catastrophes in the Rockies, accounting for 12 of the 16 most costly events. The single most expensive catastrophe is a hailstorm that hit the Denver metro area in July 1990 ($996 million in 2007 dollars).

The reality is that we all live in stupid zones. No location on the landscape is immune. No one has the high ground to be pointing the finger at others. We all end up paying. The more of us on the landscape, the greater the damages.

Dave Hallock
Payson, Arizona