Why learn about natural disasters? Because we want to survive! I do — don't you? Let's get started...
Many weather-related disasters are somewhat predictable by our learned "weather" people — others happen without warning.
Preparing for all types of disasters in advance is important for your family's survival. "In advance" is the key phrase here — which means we all need to plan.
Two things you can do to prepare for the unexpected — prepare 72 hour kits for each family member and develop a family emergency communications plan. These are needed whether the emergency is natural or man-made.
Disaster survival will depend on you learning about the area you live in and if it is vulnerable to certain types of natural disasters.
For instance, I live in earthquake country (not California!) - in Utah. Although there have been only a few small ones in my lifetime, we have been expecting the "big one" for longer than my days on this earth. They tell us we're overdue for it (supposed to happen every ~300 years).
So which natural disaster is your area likely to have?
Learning how to prepare for a hurricane is mandatory if you live near a coast where tropical storms form, such as the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico areas.
Not only are the winds terrific, there most likely will be flooding — sometimes far inland. It happened with Sandy on the New Jersey coast and recently in South Carolina.
Even though a hurricane can be fairly accurately predicted (at least that it IS coming), many people in South Carolina were not prepared — at all.
Others found they were not as prepared as they had assumed.
Most of my usual readers are aware that these statements are true (or you wouldn't be reading here).
Look around you. How many of your friends and family fit into the first category? Yeah, me too — not the majority.
Tornado preparation is imperative if you live in an area where they are common or frequent.
Tornados may strike quickly, with little or no warning. They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in a funnel. The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 miles per hour but may vary from stationary to 70 miles per hours, with rotating winds that can reach 300 miles per hour.
Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months but they can occur in any state at any time of year. No hard and fast rules here - so preparation is the only solution.
Historically, flooding is the single most common natural disaster in the U. S. However, not all floods are alike.
A river flooding can take days, whereas a flash flood can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes, without any visible signs of rain.
Floods are a natural disaster that can happen no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water, at the bottom of a hill/mountain, or downstream from a dam.
There is nothing more unexpected or less predictable than an earthquake.
It's not unusual for them to happen in the middle of the night. First you wake up to the feeling of your bed shaking. Then the books begin to fall from the shelves and pictures drop off the walls.
In the kitchen, cabinets fly open and dishes and pans crash to the floor.
If you're lucky, that will be the end of it. But most likely, the real shaking begins next. It can shake hard enough to toss you out of bed.
Wildfires and forest fires can be devastating. Whether you live in a rural setting, in the forest, or just near a green space area, you are vulnerable.
This fact became a reality for us in 2011 and again in 2012. (That's two too many times for me.)
We live in the foothills on the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. July/August are the months that are generally hot and dry.
As the hot south wind dried out the vegetation on the nearby hills, a spark from gunshot on the Utah National Guard training camp taking place on the other side of the mountain started a small brush fire.
The guardsmen thought they had put out the fire completely, but the wind kindled the flames which quickly got out of hand and rushed up the mountain. As evening came, the fire crested the mountain top and started down the other side (our side) into [...]
Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with a major snowstorm, ice storm, or extreme cold. The impacts include closed highways, blocked roads, downed power lines and hypothermia.
You can protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter by planning ahead.
Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond it limits. Under normal conditions, the body's internal thermostat produces perspiration that evaporates and cools the body. However, in extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over exercised for his age and physical condition. The elderly, young children, and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.