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August 20, 2013

Trulia Releases Disaster Map for Homeowners

By Melissa Warten, Contributing Writer

Looking back, it has been a wild past few years in regard to natural disasters. The natural world seems unpredictable and unstoppable sometimes; and not knowing where it will strike next can make buying a home an anxious process. However, with a new release by Trulia, you can breathe easier before your big move.

Trulia, an online marketplace for home buyers, sellers and real estate professionals, has recently released three new interactive hazard maps that illustrate the areas of the U.S. most prone to hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes. The release was prompted in part by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the superstorm that destroyed much of the eastern U.S. coastline. Trulia developers realized after the devastation that potential homeowners deserved to know the history of their future home’s region, and be able to weigh information on disaster susceptibility.

Image via Shutterstock

Indeed, over the past few years natural disasters seem to have run rampant. In the U.S. alone, the government declared 81 natural disasters in 2010; in 2011, 12 separate disasters totaled roughly $52 billion in damages; in 2012, the government declared on 99 occasions that major disasters existed even after the natural hazards had occurred.

With these sorts of statistics, Trulia’s new maps have been made accessible to potential home buyers, as well as free on the Trulia website. The information tracks past natural disasters and their locations, and all information is based on professionally accumulated data. The hazards are distinguished by storm and size – for instance, hurricanes are represented by dark purple cells, larger in size if the storm is more powerful. The data also includes earthquake and flood information, and has been gathered to calculate the top 10 lowest-risk housing markets.

"When Hurricane Sandy hit, we knew we had to provide more information on natural hazards to our consumers. With these new maps, users will be able to visualize where their dream home is located relative to where natural hazards have hit,” said Lee Clancy, vice president of consumer products at Trulia.

Mother Nature may be unstoppable, but she doesn’t have to be unpredictable – Trulia’s data hopes to see to that.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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