Thursday, May 14, 2009

Working under a car by Tim Fast

Natural Hazards
Week 4 PHS 100 Professor Terrell
Warner Pacific College May 5, 2009
The afternoon temperature sits above 100 degrees as I find coolness on the floor of a garage as I attempt to change the oil in an old pickup. The single jack is in the back of the front wheel as I slide under the truck between the front and rear wheel and reach the oil filter located near the transmission housing. The oil filter is difficult to reach as I need to use both hands to enhance the leverage needed to loosen the filter. While reaching both arms as high as I can, and not in a very comfortable position, I feel the truck moving quickly in abrupt movements. Then I notice that my body is also being shaken back and forth as I look around for the prankster that is trying to annoy me. When I notice that no one is near the truck, I immediately conclude that an earthquake is happening while I am underneath three tons of metal. I quickly slide out from under the truck and run outside to safety. This earthquake measured over six on the richter scale and was the largest earthquake that I have ever been involved in. Emotions begin to emerge as I conclude that God has granted me one more day of life with my wife and 3 infant children. Within the past five years I had lost two of my friends in separate incidents to vehicles falling on them and crushing them while working on their home in their garage with their family finding them too late. The emotion that I had that day caused me to relive each of my friends and their families loss of life. Society is vulnerable in so many physical attributes associated with destruction, but one of the longest lasting results come from the emotional trauma that occurs following destruction. Some statistics show that 38-49% of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused from disasters are reached within a 2 year time frame. In Science Daily, June 4, 2008, an article titled “Brain’s Gray Cells Appear To Be Changed By Trauma Of Major Events Like 9/11 Attack, Study Suggests”.
The article said that “healthy adults who were close to the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have less gray matter in key emotion centers of their brains compared with people who were more than 200 miles away, finds a new Cornell study. "This suggests that really bad experiences may have lasting effects on the brain, even in healthy people," said Barbara Ganzel, the study's lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow at Cornell's College of Human Ecology.” Vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder runs in families and one author says that “earthquakes have aftershocks—not just the geological kind, but the mental kind as well”. We see these examples from soldiers returning from war and other traumatic events. These vulnerabilities especially are played out in large events such as floods, tsunamis, war, fire and other natural disasters. Researchers find that 41% of PTSD symptoms are due to genetic factors and 61% from depressive symptoms attributed to genetics. This information was found in Psychiatric Genetics journal. This information makes sense, because I have fears associated with flooding because of an event that effected my father and mother.
My wife has fears of heavy snow because of a friend of hers that was involved with an avalanche. I am sure that many of our fears revolve around past fears deep within our heritage

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