We are not all meteorologists or climatologists, but it appears our hurricanes have become superstorms, and our superstorms have grown into gigantic monsters called “Super Typhoons.” Is climate change to blame or are the weather patterns changing due to some unknown natural phenomena? Are we having more or less disasters in real-time over the centuries or are these natural disasters really happening more often? It would not be appropriate to jump to any fear mongering conclusions, so let the facts tell the frequency of global disasters. Because there are so many variables with each disaster, the experts are still attempting to determine the causes.
According to Life and Earth the ten worst natural disasters in history, by date, were:
|The Great Flood||
|The World||Ancient Times|
|USA – Wisconsin||Oct. 8, 1871|
|Krakatoa (aka Krakatau)||
|Indonesia||Aug. 26-27, 1883|
|Great Chilean Earthquake||
|Chile||May 22, 1960|
|The Super Outbreak, Tornados||
|USA – 13 States||April 3-4, 1974|
|“Storm of the Century”||
|Cuba & Eastern USA to Canada||March 12-15, 1993|
|Indian Ocean Tsunami,||
|14 Countries||Dec. 26, 2004|
|Hurricane Katrina (and the)||
|USA||2005 Hurricane Season|
The above statistics indicate that of the top ten natural disasters in the world, 50% occurred in the United States (highlighted in red). This information is astounding! If this trend continues, we have a one in two chance of a major catastrophic event. Note the pattern of the disasters. The top four disasters were spread out over thousands of years, from ancient times until 1883. The next six events have all happened since 1960. In the last 53 years, the world has witnessed 60% of the top ten worst disasters, of these; again, half affected the United States.
This month alone, Superstorm Haiyan hit the Philippines causing thousands of fatalities, Mount Etna erupted in Italy last week displaying a show of natural forces, and in the mid-west, right here at home, during an unusual November tornado deluge, Foxnews.com reports Russell Schneider, director of the weather service’s Storm Prediction Center [stated] “Approximately 53 million [people] in 10 states [were] at significant risk for thunderstorms and tornadoes.” These are all major events! All three in one month, and we have not finished the month yet. It seems disasters are happening more frequently, so we must have an Emergency Disaster Preparedness course of action.
We are a fortunate country filled with caring, generous people. As optimists, we would like to think that we will not be hit again, but the evidence shows we will be. In order to maintain survival, we must have our own disaster preparedness supplies in advance. We cannot expect our government emergency disaster preparedness agencies to be our immediate rescue source because of the daunting logistics involved in moving supplies, equipment and people. For example, if an ice storm, (or now-a-days, a super ice-storm) shuts down the area where you live, as it did in central Massachusetts a few years ago and stranded people without power, or heat for over a week.
Ice Storm in Massachusetts
Photo by: Boy Scouts of America, Mohegan Council
The government and agencies involved in the rescue needs time and appropriate conditions in order to respond properly for that type of emergency.
We must be prepared to take care of ourselves, at least for a couple of weeks, until aid arrives. To be clearer, ask those affected by hurricane Katrina where they stand after 8 years. Some still do not have their homes rebuilt. Ask the victims of hurricane Sandy, especially those who were able to rebuild only to have entire businesses burnt to the ground by fire, how they are faring after a year. How long does it take a community to recover? How long did they wait for food, shelter, first aid, equipment and supplies? How do you prepare yourself, your loved ones, friends and family for just such an emergency? It will take advance preparedness by you and your neighbors to help alleviate the results of a catastrophic event.
It is up to us, as individuals, groups and communities to prepare for catastrophic events in advance. We must understand and be aware that it takes time to arrange the necessary resources for disposition to an affected area. We must provide ourselves with at least a minimum of supplies, (food, first aid and shelter) for the interim period between the times, a disaster strikes, and when aid finally arrives. Emergency Disaster Preparedness means that you are responsible for maintaining a reasonable way to survive during a cataclysmic event.
You may find hundreds of survival kits and resources on the internet, but what is the quality of the food, and how well is it packaged? Is it a quality long-term food from an established food supplier? How long will it last after the last loaf of bread looted from the store shelf is gone? Alternatively, are you going to go hungry without food, shiver in the cold, bleed due to an injury and suffer because you do not have the supplies and equipment that you need? While you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast this year, be thankful that our government and all its agencies are at the ready for a disaster, but you must be ready also, just in case the next big event hits your area.
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