|Are you living in a high risk area for natural disasters? It only takes one natural disaster to ruin your whole day. We tend to view natural disasters as random unfortunate acts, rather than the predictable consequence of high-risk land use. Urban wildfires such as those in Southern California and near Denver, Colorado are a good example of this.
Natural disasters occur when forces of nature damage the environment and manmade structures. If people live in the area, natural disasters can cause a great deal of human suffering.
Most people tend to downplay the risks they face, even if theyre living directly above an earthquake fault. As a result of disasters, people may be injured or killed, or may lose their homes and possessions.
Hurricanes - In the last century, more than 170 hurricanes have hit the United States. Each year in the Atlantic, approximately six hurricanes form, with one or two making landfall on the United States.
Earthquakes - Between 1989 and 2004, more than 180 earthquakes of magnitude 5 or greater have struck in the continental United States. U.S. presidents have declared 11 of these events disasters.
Tornadoes - Between 1989 and 2004, 155 disaster declarations have included the word tornado in their description.
Floods - Because of the complex nature of rivers and their drainage basins, defining one standard that successfully measures a flood is difficult. Recurrence intervals are used to measure the size of a flood. More than 85 percent of U.S. counties have been declared federal disaster areas due to floods in the past 50 years.