Mod 8 – Natural Disasters

  1. Where I am from in Pottstown, PA, the Nathan Map shows that my area is susceptible to tornados (zone 3), hailstorms (zone 3), extratropical storms (zone 1), and wildfires (zone 1). I would disagree on the part about hailstorms because, while they do happen, it is maybe once a year.  Like the hailstorms, tornados are even rarer.  We maybe get 1-3 tornado warnings every summer and there is usually one that touches down every year in a 100 mile radius.  However I understand that tornados are much more dangerous.  Extratropical storms and wildfires are probably correct on the map with their rating.  It’s actually ironic though because we currently have a wildfire situation going on a few towns over in French Creek State Park.  The second in like five years.  This Nathan Map was really had to read and had very little detail into why their ratings were the way they were.


  1. The disaster I chose is the 2.0 magnitude earthquake in Northern California, just north of San Francisco. Pottstown is not a hot bed for earthquakes because it is not near a major fault line.  In high school I experienced one that was very very minor.  The epicenter of the 5.8 quake was in Virginia but the tremors were felt up and down the east coast and even up into Canada.  The ground moved and the house shook a little, but I felt more like the vibrations from a train driving by rather than an earthquake.  If the earthquake was any stronger in my area, buildings and roads may have been damaged because of the building codes in Pottstown vs California.

According to the site, the 2.0 magnitude quake in California would be barely noticeable to the residents.  I would say that is pretty consistent with the small tremor we felt in 2011.


If there was a significant earthquake in Pottstown or the surrounding area I am sure the residents would be very vulnerable.  We are simply not prepared for that kind of emergency where we live.  It’s the same as when the south gets a snowstorm of 2 inches, people in the south don’t have the resources available to deal with something like that.  California is just better prepared with building codes and protocols to be ready for an earthquake.


  1. The natural disaster that is most likely to affect Pottstown would be a flood. I have seen what big floods can do to the area because we get a significant flood pretty much every year.  The Schuylkill River that runs through Pottstown and the outer neighborhoods can affect a number of different low-laying areas.  Pottstown would be especially vulnerable to emergencies right now with the high number of road closures and bridge closures in the area.  That would make evacuation even more difficult to deal with.


  1. The biggest need for Pottstown when it comes to natural disasters and weather emergencies is probably flooding. There needs to be some sort of flood control put into place whether it be levees or man-made channels to help flow the water away from rising to the roads.


Emergency management personnel would be the ones for the job.  Pottstown doesn’t have much money to shell out for improvements, but once the state is finished fixing the bridges and roads that should at least help a little bit with the traffic.


There isn’t anything I can do about weather emergencies other than not driving through flood waters like an idiot.

1 thought on “Mod 8 – Natural Disasters

  1. Hi! My name is Neil Karmaker, and you can find my blog post here:

    It really scary to think how literally every area of the world can face some kind of devastating disaster, and how coupled the human-environment systems that make up the world really are. And it really is unfortunate that for the most part, the only thing we can do in a hazardous situation is to not behave like idiots and get ourselves killed.

Leave a Reply