Hurricane Katrina will hit New Orleans today after killing seven people in Florida and will likely kill many more. My parents live in Florida, a place hit by several hurricanes every single year that always kill people. You’d think fewer people would die from hurricanes given the advance notice of them. Yet, in 2004 alone, 218 people were killed from hurricanes.

Yet my mom fears for my life because I live in an earthquake-prone area. You have to go back to 1965 (40 years!), to match that number of deaths from earthquakes. Between 1965 and 2005, 220 people have been killed in earthquakes in the US. And 188 (85%) were killed in just three of the largest earthquakes.