Natural Hazards Preparation and Information

According to the Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards, My town of Vienna, Virginia, is prone to heavy rainfall, high wind speeds, mild hailstorms, and mild to moderately prone to tornadoes. The map also stated that the Cyclone El Nino and La Nina affected my hometown very differently from each other. El Nino causes fewer storms while La Nina caused more storms.   The Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards does an adequate job of showing the hazards of my area. The map seemed to be a little too general. This being said, I would recommend using another map or source for locating natural hazards in more confined areas such as towns or cities.


I chose to look into the Popocatepetl Volcano eruption that happened in Mexico. The eruption was harmless, the volcano spewed ashes and vapor into the air. My hometown would be very unlikely to experience a volcanic eruption because there are no volcanoes in my town. If the unlikely chance that it did happen in my hometown, I would think that the population of Vienna, Virginia would be very unprepared considering that we have never experienced a natural disaster like this. Most people would likely attempt to escape causing mass amounts of traffic. If the volcano were to be in D.C., which is close to my town, people of my town would remain fine because of the Potomac River. The river creates a barrier between Virginia and D.C., this would limit the spread of lava if it were to occur. The scale of the volcano wouldn’t really cause any harm to people of my town because it is not seeping lava.


Using other resources and my own knowledge of Vienna, I found that the vulnerability of flooding is very high according to, with a total of 742 floods form 1950-2010. My town is located near the Potomac River, this being said I have experienced the flooding of tributaries that run through my town. During a lot of storms, the storm drains will become clogged with debris. This causes flooding and as a result slowed traffic and roads to become closed. The creek behind my house has flooded enough to soak my back yard and cause water damage to the basement of my house. Also, according to, Vienna is prone to tornados, with an n index value greater than the whole state. Although none of the tornados are above a 3.5, there is still the potential risk of an intense tornado.


In order to reduce vulnerability to natural hazard prevalent in my area, some prior preparation and education can reduce the effects of a natural hazard. Some simple preparation for my area that can be done by anyone can include stocking up on canned food and water for emergency power outages. A good first aid kit is also a necessity; they can be bought or made. The kit should include some medical supplies as well as some versatile materials including rope and a flashlight with extra batteries. The last preparation I would assume to be beneficial to anyone facing a threat of a natural disaster would be to educate everyone on the safety and how to deal with situations that could potentially be life threatening. Teachers should teach this education to children. The lessons should also include an action by the children to report the learned material to their parents.





2 thoughts on “Natural Hazards Preparation and Information

  1. Hello Gavin!

    I thought I’d drop a few lines on your post – comparing a volcano to one’s hometown sounds very interesting! If you want to check my post out feel free:

    I whole-heartedly agree with how you said the people would react in your hometown if a volcano were to occur. While I don’t know your town, I’m sure that’s how my town would react as well. I like how you took the river into account as well – way to use your natural features! I would also like to echo your sentiments in your last paragraph – being prepared is perhaps the easiest and yet most important thing one can do in order to prepare for a hazard (beit natural or manmade) – I personally forgot about putting a first-aid kit in my response; glad to see you didn’t though.

    Nice post.

  2. Hi! My name is Jessica and here is my blog post: I agreed with you that the map was hard to read because it was so general, so I talked about that too. I also talked about how there is flooding in my hometown and how education programs would be beneficial. Educating the population on how to be safe is important because that way we can all be safer when natural disasters happen. I like your ideas about preparation; I talked about how it is important but I like your specific ideas.

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