Thursday, January 26, 2012

Natural Hazards: My Experience by Lori Uhacz

PHS 100A: Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College

January 22, 2012 

Natural Hazards: My experience

I feel very fortunate to have only been a couple natural hazards. In my life I have been in a couple earthquakes. Only one that I can remember was actually anything to be worried about. I was in high school and I was working in the office then the earthquake happened. At first I thought it was one of the teachers playing a joke on me by shaking my desk. Then I saw the tree outside shaking pretty violently. Some people at school said they saw our water tower swaying pretty badly. Other then earthquakes, I haven’t been involved in any big natural hazards.

When it comes to our society’s vulnerability to natural hazards, I think we are very vulnerable to them. We have chosen to build large buildings and huge cities on known fault lines on the west coast. Big cities have grown in what is known as hurricane country. Year after year, nature has proven that she is stronger than anything man can build. Hurricanes can tear buildings apart faster then we can blink. Tornados terrorize the Midwest destroying complete towns in its wake. Yes we do put ourselves in a vulnerable position but I don’t think there is any place on earth that is not going to be affected by natural hazards.

I don’t think that we can ever fully avoid natural hazards. Cities will continue to grow at an alarmingly fast rate and if things keep going the way they are going with the population, we might soon be building in places purposely that are dangerous.

We can however take precautions and measure to try and prevent damage to our homes and other buildings in the event of a natural hazard. Different style windows and doors, building materials that can withstand strong winds and water in the case of a tornado or hurricane. These things can get expensive though and some people might not be able to afford them. Personally I think it might be a good idea that if you chose to live in an area that is prone to natural hazards you have to have even more special insurance then is already required in order to protect your home. Maybe a special inspection is needed to prevent your property from being destroyed.

The idea of protecting ourselves from natural hazards is a great one however it might not be all that realistic. I do believe in progress and that with population growth risks have to be taken when it comes to housing and the like. However when you have no other choice then to live in an area that is prone to natural hazards, I don’t think much can be done. This is a sad but undeniable truth of living in this world. I know I wish that things could be different but natural hazards are part of the evil that has been inflicted upon this world and for the time being we just have to find a way to deal with them.

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