San Diego

San Diego Makes List of Nation's Worst Disaster Areas

New York Times ranks areas most prone to natural disasters

In Puerto Rico and the Gulf Coast, hurricanes do serious damage year-after-year.

In San Diego, the problem is wildfires.

The New York Times says three of them -- in 2003, 2007 and last year's Lilac Fire -- earn the region a spot on the publication's "disaster map."

According to the Times, the federal government, with your taxes, helps pay the cost of rebuilding in areas hit repeatedly by storms, floods or fires.

Critics say those subsidies encourage continued development in disaster-prone areas, which wastes billions of taxpayer dollars and puts lives in danger, year-after-year.

But in San Diego, fire and building inspectors say tough building codes and vegetation set-backs help prevent fires from starting, and slow their spread when they do start.

Kelly Eisenstein of the City of San Diego's Development Services Department says new buildings in these fire-prone areas must have double-pane windows to withstand heat, stucco or other types of fire-resistant walls, and specially-designed roof vents that help keep wildfires from spreading to nearby homes.

Read the full New York Times article here.

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