Natural disasters are events that threaten
lives, property, and ecosystems.
This results in the fragmentation or the destruction of ecosystems, billions of dollars in damage to property, and injury or death to people and domestic and wild animals.
Thousands of people are affected by natural disasters each year. Some people are affected more than others. It is always best to be prepared and have a plan in place so that you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency.
Some events are more sudden than others. There are things you can do to keep aware and keep yourself prepared, even when you don't get a lot of notice of an approaching storm or a sudden disaster. Even if you can't completely eliminate your risks, you can reduce them. There are many other pages on this site which can help you with that process. Please look around.
These events are associated with:
- floods and flooding
According to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) the U.S. has sustained 96 weather-related disasters over the past 30 years in which overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion.
- Over the past decade, about 258 million people have been affected by natural disasters worldwide every year.
- Caused by an undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean, the 2004 tsunami was the deadliest in history.
- More than 225,000 people were killed in 11 countries and communities along the coast were flooded by 100 foot waves.
- A destructive tsunami hits the West Coast of the United States about once every 18 years.
- Every year an average of 10,000 people die because of earthquakes.
- A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when the speed of its winds goes over 74 mph.
- Storm surges (the huge waves created during a hurricane) are usually more dangerous than the strong winds and storms.
- Floods account for about 46% of disaster-related deaths in the Americas.
- It is more difficult to find clean water than food after a water-related disaster because water supplies become contaminated.
- Tornadoes can form anywhere in the US. Their average size is about 660 feet wide.
- The best place to find shelter during a tornado is in a room without windows and doors.
90% of Disasters are the result of Extreme Weather
First, to minimize your loss in a natural disaster, call your insurance agent by the end of the day of the event. Find out what your coverage is on your home and your car(s). If you don't own a home, make sure you have renter's insurance. It doesn't cost that much and it will protect your possessions. Seriously. Do it now. If you wait, you will forget and then where will you be when your roof is in someone else's yard?
Second, if you live in an area where a natural disaster has ocurred in the past 25-30 years, bolt down your refrigerator, washer and dryer, stove and any other large appliances or pieces of furniture (i.e. piano). Your local home improvement stores sell kits and/or can tell you how to do this. One reason is that they will be more likely to stay with your home if the disaster isn't so severe. Another reason is that if you are sheltering in place, those items will not become flying objects, such as in a tornado.
For more information go to US Disaster Statistics