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Natural Disasters

What is a Natural Disaster?

A natural disaster is any naturally occurring event, which causes great damage or loss of life. Natural disasters are events that result from forces of nature such as tornadoes, floods, earthquakes or fire.

Natural disasters are a common occurrence in almost every part of the world. Each region of the world may be prone to one or more particular types of natural disasters. Natural disasters usually leave people without food and shelter making it important to have some basic facts about them to be prepared for any emergencies.

Knowing how to respond to natural disasters is very important for survival purposes. However, it is essential to understand that you have to identify the natural disasters affecting your region before learning how to prepare for them. Below we will look at some of the common natural disasters known to man.

Also referred to as typhoons, tropical storms or cyclones, depending on which part of the word they occur, hurricanes are intense tropical storms characterized by strong winds and heavy rain. It is interesting to note that the eye of the hurricane is characterized by calm weather while the winds surrounding the eye are the strongest. Hurricanes

Hurricanes in the southern hemisphere normally have winds moving in the clockwise direction while those in the northern hemisphere move in the opposite direction - counterclockwise.

A flood can be simply described as the submerging of normally dry land under a body of water. Flooding events normally occur slowly as the ground is saturated with water that is unable to drain away fast enough, or in a short while as evidenced by flash floods. Flash floods normally occur along river basins and are as a result of the river channel being unable to hold onrushing water. Floods

TornadoesTornadoes are formed by a rapidly spinning tube of air that comes into contact with both the ground and a cloud. Tornadoes can be invisible but are mostly made visible since the tube of air also carries a large amount of condensed moisture. A majority of the 1200 annual tornadoes, which occur in the US, occur in an area known as the tornado valley.

Earthquakes come about as a result of the shifting of tectonic plates under the surface of the earth. As these plates move, built up energy is released upwards to the surface of the earth where extensive damage and loss of life is highly probable. If the epicenter of an earthquake were to occur under the surface of the ocean as has been the case in a number of recent occurrences, the result is tsunamis i.e. a high wave of water rapidly advancing outwards from the epicenter.Earthquakes

Wildfire is a term used to refer to forest fires. Forest fires can be of any height and size depending on the vegetation and location they occur. Every year between 50,000 and 100,000 wildfires occur all over the world. Some of the causes of wildfires include human carelessness such as improper disposal of lit cigarettes and natural causes as well.Wildfire

In ConclusionThere are many different types of natural disasters, and you never know exactly when one will strike. You can stay prepared for natural disasters by storing drinking water, canned food, batteries and first aid supplies in your home and car.

True or FalseThe majority of natural disasters are weather related.TRUE. Weather conditions such as storms and droughts cause many natural disasters.A tornado is a sudden release of energy from the Earths crust.TRUE. A volcanic eruption is a naturally occurring event that causes damage to property and human lives.Volcanic eruptions are considered natural disasters.FALSE. An earthquake is caused by seismic waves as energy is released from the Earths crust.

Talk About It

What steps can you take to prepare your family for a natural disaster?

A drought is a type of natural disaster. What other type of natural disaster might be triggered as a result from a long drought?

Natural disasters are often referred to as acts of nature or acts of God. Why do you think people call them this?

The End