Natural Disasters

I live in Pittsburgh, which is a decent sized city. However, using the Nathan map it’s hard to pinpoint where Pittsburgh is. It would be a lot more helpful if you could search for your city. Then the map could list possible natural hazards you could face in that city. Also, the maps don’t even have the states outlined, this makes it even harder to guess where my city is. Based on the information from the Nathan map my city is at very low risks for natural hazards. Wildfires, tornadoes, and tropical storms pose very little threat to my city. They’re all categorized in very low zones. From the map it looks like my city could face heavy rain or a slight hail storm. During the El Nino, the maps shows warmer weather and less storms. On the other hand, during the La Nina there is an increase in storms.

The disaster I chose was a wildfire in Cherokee National Forest in Northeast Tennessee. This event is very unlikely to happen in my city because we don’t experience a lot of hot temperature with no rain. The ground in my city is saturated and wouldn’t burn as fast as somewhere like Tennessee that’s dry. The fire was believed to be human caused and burned around 150 acres of lands. Although this is very large scale, something like this in my town would be devastating. I live in a city that’s very populated and has little forests. If 150 acres of forests burned this would be almost a whole State Park. This event in Tennessee was only considered medium damage. In my city it would considered high damage because of how close everything is and how little forests we have. This disaster could possible harm a lot of people in my home town. We’re all in close proximity and definitely not prepared for a forest fire. As we know from this module the severity of the disaster depends on both physical nature of the event and the social nature of the human population. The physical nature part wouldn’t have a big role for my city, because as I stated we aren’t prone to forest fires. The vulnerability to humans would be based on how close they live to a forests. The closer you are the more danger you face. You could reduce the towns’ vulnerability by posting signs during a dry season so people know forests fires are at a higher chance. Also, you can make sure the town has a good emergency response team. These people can help conceal the fire before it spreads further.

A natural hazard my city could face is something like a blizzard or severely cold temperatures. We also face slight tornado hazards. These could lead to power outages, or even car accidents. When I was in middle school we had a snow storm in Pittsburgh so bad school was canceled for a week. We also didn’t have power for two days. This was actually a very serious situation because the temperature was around 10 degrees. People could have face hypothermia if they weren’t prepared or outside for a long time.

To reduce vulnerability in my home town we could make sure we’re prepared. This includes having a good emergency response team or even and emergency kit at home with basic needs such as water and food in it. To reduce power outages we could make sure tree are away from the power lines. For us to prevent flooding we could make sure we have adequate drains. You could also have backup power in your home such as a generator. The best thing for a natural disaster is to be educated and prepare for the worse. The best people to help overcome these are local authorities, or the whole community working together.

2 thoughts on “Natural Disasters

  1. Hi Johnna! My name is Shanda. Here’s a link to my blog!

    I’m also from Pittsburgh. I focused more on the flooding, but I didn’t even think about our severe blizzards being a major issue in our city. I live in the South Hills, so it’s virtually impossible to make it around the hills. I think as far as prevention, Pittsburgh does a good job with being prepared for the weather. Sometimes I feel like we underestimate a lot of our storms, but i think it’s good to make sure we are all prepared. My grandmother keeps an emergency kit in our basement!

Leave a Reply