1.) Living in a small town outside of State College, it is pretty hard to pinpoint the exact natural hazards in my town using the Nathan World Map. I think it would be more helpful if the map was interactive and could allow you to search or zoom into your exact location. Based on the region of the United States and central location of the state, I would say that my area is low to moderate on the frequency and intensity scale for natural hazards. This makes sense, as we do get a wide range of weather conditions but they have never been intense compared to other areas on the map. I would agree with the placement of my area on the scales because we haven’t had a tornado in years and winter weather conditions in my area can be hazardous, but again we have not had a blizzard since 1993.
2.) The event I chose to explore was the eruption of Alaska’s volcano, Pavlof on March 28th. My hometown cannot experience the same natural disaster simply because there are no volcanoes in Pennsylvania. The volcano was located relatively close to Anchorage but only affected and disrupted flights overhead due to the ash in the air. It seems that the area was prepared for the unexpected volcano as it is not the only active volcano in the state, and this was not the first time a volcano erupted. If this were to happen in my hometown of Snow Shoe, it would cause quite a disruption and panic. Considering the volcanic was not that severe, I think there would be more shock and panic rather than disaster. I just don’t know if anyone would know what to do. On the topic of vulnerability, I feel like places such as schools, stores, and portions of larger groups of people would be more vulnerable. These places have more people located within them, making it harder to move them to safety as compared to only a few people who live farther out and in more isolated locations. If volcanoes and the chance of them erupting were a concern in my area, then I’m sure residents and emergency responders would be educated and prepared if this type of disaster ever occurred.
3.) Snow Shoe has a very low chance of earthquakes, a nonexistent chance of volcanoes, and a moderately low chance of tornadoes. Although there have been a few minor earthquakes during my lifetime, they never amounted to much, usually falling below a 3.5 on the scale. One event that is still talked about in my area was the blizzard of 1993. Although a lot of the United States got hit in this event, my area suffered from low arctic temperatures and lots and lots of snow. The area in which my hometown is located accumulated close to 40 inches of snow. The area that I live in sits at a higher elevation, affectionately called “The Mountaintop”. Because of this, it’s always seems that we get more snow than surrounding areas such as State College, which sits at a lower elevation. Because of this, residents in my town are always prepared whenever a winter storm is being forecasted.
“Snow Shoe, PA Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes.” – USA.com™. Accessed April 01, 2016.
4.) One thing that my town can do to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards is to be prepared for anything. Keeping a first aid kit in your home or in the car can prove to be very helpful and is a simple thing to throw together. Also, preparing every home with a generator for backup would be a good idea, seeing as how many times, our power goes out due to the weather. A lot of pre-event preparedness can also be helpful. Having information of any big storm spotted on the radar and getting that information out quickly to the public is something that meteorologists and news crews can do to help give people some time to run to the grocery store and be prepared to stay put in their homes until the storm passes. Having emergency responders ready and prepared to handle vehicle accidents due to the weather can also be helpful as well as keeping up with plowing and salting roads for after travel if necessary. For my part, I think it is important to be prepared myself and to educate others. I think it is very important, and often forgotten that during the cold winter months and in the midst of large snow accumulations, to check on the elderly and disabled to make sure they are aware and prepared to handle the weather conditions.