The Importance of Natural Hazard Disclosure Reports

There’s no way around the unpredictability of natural hazards. Science has yet to find a concrete way to pinpoint an exact date and time for when the next earthquake strikes or when a sinkhole will collapse and take an entire building with it. As such, it’s often hard to protect a community from the devastation that could be caused by such scenarios. Aside from the possibility of damage to property and infrastructure, a natural hazard can also cause a lot of injuries and fatalities within a given area. This is why several places across the United States have mandated legalities designed to reduce the number of casualties in case disaster strikes.

The state of California is among such areas where real estate sellers and brokers are required by law to inform their clientele of whether a given property is located in an area that has been identified by local officials as vulnerable to natural hazards. Under the Natural Hazard Disclosure Act, parties selling residential or commercial real estate must provide sufficient information on how certain geological hazards can affect the stability and foundation of specific area. This information will be provided through a document called the Natural Hazard Disclosure. According to California law, this disclosure report can be in the form of the following six types: earthquake fault zone, seismic hazard, wildfire, very high fire, special flood hazard area, and dam inundation. Supplemental reports can also give signal to other hazards such as radioactive radon gas and possible hazards in former military defense sites.

Information on natural hazard reports is typically gathered from geographical mapping done by the local government. While this information is usually helpful and reliable, there are times when lapses cause some error to the data presented in the report itself. To avoid such scenarios, consider contacting firms that provide natural hazard reports using information from Geographic Information Systems that digitize available map data and eliminate any risk of human error.