Natural Disasters and Vulnerability

Lancaster, PA is a very safe place in terms of vulnerability to natural disasters. Using the Nathan map, Pennsylvania remains very low in risk at almost every category. Hail, tornadoes, and an increase in heavy weather are what those of us in central PA need to worry about. For two of these, hail and heavy rain, they are not terribly destructive if things are built right and can hold against them. Also, central PA has a very low risk of tornadoes or hail, as it is on the cusp of those charts. The Nathan map does a nice job at highlighting areas, although it could be more specific in terms of the effects of the disasters and more distinct areas of effect.

Currently in Hawaii there is an earthquake that is of medium magnitude. This type of disaster is more frequent than I had thought, mostly because it rarely happens in PA. Central PA is not on a fault line, making it only susceptible to feel the shocks from a large earthquake elsewhere. For Hawaii, this happens every so often so they are prepared for it. The buildings in PA are not as sturdy and therefore if that earthquake happened here it could be very damaging. I wouldn’t say that the disaster would take too many lives, but it would destroy tons of homes, leaving some families without a place to live anymore.

From personal experience, flash floods are the only really natural hazard that I can remember being a problem. A tornado touched down once last year that I remember, but nothing else extreme like that in a long time. A mild earthquake struck the east coast last year also, which Lancaster received a few minor shocks from. reports that Lancaster is below the national average for earthquakes but above the national average for tornado risk. The only natural risk that is prevalent from the site was winter weather, which does not create huge damage. I had not realized that tornadoes were as common as they were in PA, with at one point in 1988, 45 tornados touched down in 3 days (Pennsylvania).

The best way to reduce the risk of these is to better identify when the event is coming as soon as possible. The more time to prepare, the more safe the population can be. The news can help out with this process immensely. The faster the news finds out the faster that everyone else will know. When people know something is coming they wont go outside, they will stock up on food, or they will go to a safe part of the house. The bottom line is the more timely the notice, the more safe people will be.





“Lancaster, PA Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes.”™. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2016.

“Pennsylvania.” Pennsylvania. N.p., 09 September 2013. Web. 02 Apr. 2016.

3 thoughts on “Natural Disasters and Vulnerability

  1. Hi Josh, I am Justin Tenerowicz and here is a link to my post:

    Being in western PA, I experience the same type of hazards that you have described in the first paragraph of your post. I also have had tornadoes touch down close to home as you have described in your post. I liked your discussion on earthquakes in Hawaii and comparing it to PA. I liked your suggestion on getting warnings out to people as soon as possible so that they can better prepare themselves for hazards.

  2. Hi Josh. My name is Tyler. Lancaster is not very far from where I am in Pottstown.

    Earthquakes are a rarity back home, but do you remember the small one from August 2011? We must never forget the lawn chairs that were knocked down.

    I agree with you that floods are more likely to affect SE Pennsylvania and cause trouble.

    Check out my blog!

  3. Hi Joshua. My name is Ben and I was interested in your article because you said that floods are a problem in your hometown. They are also a problem in my hometown of Greenwich, CT and I appreciated that you said that preparation is key. We often get flash flood warnings in advance and that helps to keep people off the roads. Here is the link to my post if you want to check it out.

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