1) I live in York, PA, which is in south-central PA. In the module we read that Pennsylvania is one of the least hazard-prone areas in the U.S., but nevertheless we still have our fair share of hazards. We face < 80 km/hr extra tropical winter storms, Zone 2 tornadoes, Zone 2 wildfires, warmer/dryer El Nino periods, a greater likelihood of storms during La Nina, an increase of +.3 degrees Celsius per decade, and an increase in annual rainfall. This map would have been more beneficial if it were more localized. It was somewhat difficult to determine the barriers between zones for some of the hazards because the graphics were so small. It was good for seeing the contrasts in risks across the country and the world as a whole, but could be improved for finding more localized hazzards.
2) The hazard that I found occurred in Hawaii. It was a shark attack that was characterized as a biological hazard. This type of hazard is very unlikely in my hometown because we about 100 miles from the closest ocean. The only exception would be in the case of a sharknado, where a tornado carries the sharks inland (kidding). Only one person was harmed in the shark attack, and luckily there were no deaths. This type of biological hazard wasn’t included in our discussion in the module, but dangerous animal attacks/encounters could certainly be a huge hazard depending on where you live. For example, if you lived in Australia you would have to be more aware of the threat of snake and spider bites than you would in Pennsylvania. The threat of animal attack biological hazards isn’t a prominent one in my town, but if you lived in an area where sharks were common, you would have to prepare hospitals and ambulances for dealing with shark bite victims.
3) One of the main natural hazards that my hometown of York, PA faces is that of winter storms. In January, Winter Storm Jonas covered my town with over two feet of snow, and closed local schools and business for nearly a week. Most towns aren’t prepared to deal with these quantities of snow, and even after nearly one week some students were not able to make it to school due to snow covered roads. According to The Weather Channel, Winter Storm Jonas caused or contributed to 37 deaths, most of which were heart attacks brought on by people shoveling snow. The Weather Channel also reported that the financial impact across the Northeast U.S. is between $500 million and $3 billion.
- Winter Storm Jonas Burries Northeast With Two Feet of Snow. January 24. https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/winter-storm-jonas-forecast-blizzard-warning-january-22.
4) Pre-event preparedness significantly reduced casualties and human impacts associated with Winter Storm Jonas. Meteorologists were able to warn citizens of the impending storm, and they were able to gather supplies ahead of time so that they could have food, water, lighting, and heating sources in case utilities were impacted by the storm. For these types of hazards pre-event preparedness is always crucial. If you ended up without heat, food, or water for extended periods of time it would be very difficult to live comfortably or even survive if you become snowed in. My family prepared by buying extra groceries, bringing fire wood into the garage as a backup heating source, and having our generator handy in case of a power outage. The local township and PennDot are also very important because they are responsible for clearing the roads in my area. This helps to assure that everything gets back to normal as fast as possible.