Rachel Denny: Natural Hazards MOD 8

  1. Using the Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards, I was unable to find any natural disasters that really pose a threat to my community. There is a slightly higher level of hail storms and rain for western Pennsylvania, but we don’t get any severe natural hazards in the area. I think this map is well suited for the task, but I wish it was clearer to zoom in to a more exact location. It is very helpful to look at the big picture of natural hazards, but it is harder to pinpoint exact locations on the map since it has a World-wide focus.
  2. The disaster I chose was a tornado. A tornado took place at 3:25 am on April 1 in Alabama and there was a medium level of damage, and thankfully nobody was harmed. It is unlikely that my hometown will experience a damaging tornado, but there have been tornado warnings in my area and a few years before I was born there was a pretty severe tornado just 15 minutes away from my house. Typically, though, it is unlikely because Western Pa is fairly hilly and most tornadoes occur on flat land. I’m assuming that the area the tornado took place did not have many people because nobody was affected by it. If this were to take place in my hometown, there could be some injuries because the area is fairly populated. The people in my town are more vulnerable to this type of disaster because our homes are not built to withstand strong winds of a tornado. There isn’t really a way to change the structure of houses, but the best way to reduce vulnerability is to make sure people know what to do in case of a tornado. People should be prepared in case of such an emergency and know where to go if a tornado happens.
  3. The natural hazards that my town faces are heavy rain, flooding, and hail. We do not have powerful forces like hurricanes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, but rain can be a problem in the area if it gets to be too heavy. I live by rivers and creeks that become easily flooded when there is a lot of rain. Several instances of flooding and large hail storms have taken place during my time living in Beaver Falls, Pa. Usually people are not harmed, but there can be a lot of damage to basements (flooding) or cars, from the hail. There have also been some severe snow storms, but it is unlikley that they cause much damage.
  4. The way to reduce vulnerabiltiy in my town would be to educate people on the risks of heavy rain and tornadoes and make sure they know what to do in the case of these hazards. The best people to educate are parents to children, schools to children, and news sources, especially the weather channel. If the forecast is showing for heavy rain or tornado warnings, the news sources should to all they can to inform people of risks and how to stay out of harm. I cannot do much except to protect those around me. When there is heavy rain and tornado warnings, I will discourage friends and family to travel and drive in that weather and encourage them to stay indoors and be safe.


3 thoughts on “Rachel Denny: Natural Hazards MOD 8

  1. Hello Rachel! I had actually spent some time in Beaver Falls about two years ago so it was interesting to read about it. Western Pennsylvania hazards seem to be similar to eastern Pennsylvania hazards – mainly hailstorms and floods. I would disagree with you that the only thing you can do is keep your close ones safe. Local governments usually have hazard teams and hazarding planning that one can volunteer to be a part of. Also, you can help the local government help educate the public. Thanks for your post as it was very informative!

    Karolina Powell

  2. Hello Rachel, my name is Megan and we both seem fairly geologically blessed in that extreme events are fairly rare in our local towns. I live in Huntingdon which is fairly central to Pennsylvania. Here is the link to my blog if you would like to take a look: http://geog030.dutton.psu.edu/2016/04/01/la8-flooding-and-heatwaves-in-huntingdon-pennsylvania/

    It is hard to do much more than educate for things such as hail storms up here when the severity of the event is usually very limited. In regions such as Texas where they receive massive hail droplets much more often, infrastructure usually needs to accommodate for the impacts. As an architecture student, I know most buildings are only designed for about 85% of the worst case scenario in the location because it is not worth the cost.
    I’m glad you are prepared for tornadoes even though they are very rare in your area, because although rare, they can be damaging when they occur.
    I hope you stay safe and enjoy the rest of this course!

  3. It was interesting to see that you did the tornado in Alabama as your topic. I use to live in Alabama and have witnessed them first hand. They are quite damaging and unsettling to say the least. I did not know that Alabama had a tornado today and now that I know I will have to look further into it and see what town was effected. I thought your blog entry was an interesting perspective and it was enjoyable to read what people who haven’t witnessed tornadoes first hand think.

    If interested, here is a link to my post.

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