Ahh Spring! When Natural Disasters Strike Will You Be Ready?
Ready or not spring is officially here on 20 March. With the onset of spring, natural disasters such as flooding and tornadoes, especially, strike with ferocity. When natural disasters strike, and strike they will, will you be ready to protect your family, your home and your belongings?
In today’s article, we will take a look at the frequency of natural disasters in 2014 and so far in 2015 and give you some helpful hints as to how you can prepare yourself.
So far in the year 2015, the big weather-related story has been how the East Coast, in particular, the Boston area, has been inundated with snow. As of 26 Feb. 2015 there has been 100 inches of snow in Boston leaving thousands stranded, shutting down public transportation and leaving tens of thousands of senior citizens short of food and medical supplies and causing the head of the transit system there to resign-like the snow was her fault.
Wait until the snow melts-then street flooding of epic proportions!
That same Washington Post news story goes on to explain “Sea surface temperatures off the coast of New England right now are at record levels, 11.5C (21F) warmer than normal in some locations. There is [a] direct relationship between the surface warmth of the ocean and the amount of moisture in the air. What that means is that this storm will be feeding off these very warm seas, producing very large amounts of snow as spiraling winds of the storm squeeze that moisture out of the air, cool it and deposit it as snow inland.
Warmer oceans also increase the temperature contrasts that winter storms encounter when they hit the East Coast, — and this ups their strength.
Heavy snows mean the temperature is just below freezing, any cooler and the amount would be a lot less. Warmer waters off the coast help elevate winter temperatures and contribute to the greater snow amounts. This is how global warming plays a role.”
Out on the West Coast, the seldom heard from pineapple express is causing flooding in Northern California and up the West Coast. According to AccuWeather.com Expert Meteorologist Bernie Rayno, “A pineapple express is a continuous surge of tropical moisture extending from near Hawaii all the way into a West Coast storm.”
It is severely hampering the lives of tens of thousands who are being forced from their homes because of the flooding. It is hoped that the rain will amount to snow in the higher elevations.
Is unclear in the data if the “pineapple express” phenomenon can be attributed to warmer waters in the Pacific.
In 2014 weather disasters the most deadly disaster was in the springtime rash of tornado activity over much of the nation’s eastern half. Eighty-three confirmed tornadoes and near “biblical” rainfall of more than 20 inches in two days in Pensacola, Florida caused flash flooding and killed 33 people. Michigan and the Northeast got swamped with rain in August-the result of a slow but water loaded low-pressure system. Long Island was caught up in a foot of rain in 24 hours.
A chart of billion-dollar disaster events (as seen here) as tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that 2014 was exceeded only by four other years in terms of weather-related disaster events all of which have occurred in the last seven years.
The big story out West continues to be the crippling drought.
The above chart shows a disturbing trend to greater absolute numbers with increasing frequency of these billion-dollar weather-related damage events. That leads us, of course, back to our question-“When Natural Disasters Strike Will You Be Ready?”
In our article ‘How Is Your Emergency Preparedness?’we mention a three-pronged attack to emergency preparedness.
“First, BE INFORMED including what disasters are specific to your area.
Then you need to MAKE A PLAN including talking to your family about what happens in a natural disaster and practice what to do in an emergency.
And most important is to BUILD A “BUG OUT” KIT that includes emergency food and water supplies, first aid kit, medicines and any other essentials you need to survive for at least 72 hours.”
It seems that no matter where you are a weather-related event of a wildfire, flooding, snowstorm, tornado, hurricane or others can cause a major disruption in the lives of thousands.
It is incumbent upon the head of the household to take the lead and plan for the worst. We have the supplies that can help you from emergency tools and gadgets to emergency First Aid kits to an emergency food supply for one for a week and longer all of which can bail you out in an emergency.
What is your experience in weather-related disasters? We want to hear from you. Chime in with your thoughts.