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June 24, 2021 Edition

Headlines

 
 
 
Severe drought and soaring temperatures are not the only evidence that Californians should be worried about wildfires this year. Insurers who will pay for losses from fires are increasingly forking over sizable sums of money for better fire modeling to try and cut losses.
 
 
Five high-risk but lesser-known areas include: mid-slope areas, areas adjacent to wildland fuels,
the ember zone, urban canyons and areas near steep highway grades. 
 
 

 

Business
 
 
 
Over the next 15 years, half of the current insurance industry workforce is expected to retire, leaving over 400,000 open positions unfilled industrywide. Recruitment, retention and technological advances will all play a role in easing the transition. 
 
 
In most states, insurers can consider your dog’s breed when setting your monthly premium — or when deciding whether they’ll insure you at all. But some states are banning the practice.

 
In the first five months of 2021, 215 transactions have been announced worth a combined $24.6 billion. Ample funding and ongoing interest in the sector will continue to drive deals this year. 
 
 

 

Education
 
 
 
Officials want to sharply increase prescribed fires to clear fuels. But shorter off-seasons and concerns about liability and smoke are thwarting some plans. 
 
 
If your property was affected by a 100-year flood, you might think you won't see another one like it for 99 years. But it just doesn’t work that way. To understand flood risk, you need to think longer term.
 
 
Without strong statewide standards, counties and municipalities often adopt weak codes that leave new buildings with minimal protection against flooding and powerful winds.
 
 
It's unclear whether marijuana itself increases crash risk. One recent study showed crash risk only increased when marijuana was combined with alcohol.
 
 
It’s time for fireworks and grilling season. Follow these tips to celebrate the Fourth of July and keep your friends, family and neighbors safe from harm.
 
 

 

Environment
 
 
 
Persistently dry weather has choked off the amount of snowpack and precipitation feeding rivers and streams, which reduces the amount of water available to generate hydroelectric power.
 
The water in Lake Oroville, California's second-largest reservoir, can power up to 800,000 homes when operating at full capacity. Now, the power plant will likely shut down due to alarmingly low water levels.
 
 

 

Innovation
 
 
 
With wildfires raging more uncontrollably in the West than they have in the past, experts say it’s time to change the way we fight them. The battle now starts at home, where people live, before a spark ever ignites a flame in a nearby forest or brush.
 
A small number of startups are applying 3D printing to home construction, arguing that it’s faster, cheaper and more sustainable than traditional construction and could help reduce supply shortages and evictions, lower prices and address homelessness.
 
 

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