Warner Pacific College
March 22st, 2014
Having lived in Portland, Oregon for the majority of my life, I feel like I don’t really think about natural disasters happening in this area. When thinking about natural disasters my mind only thinks of the “bigger” issues that we hear about via the news; Such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruption, and flooding. While asking myself, what really is a natural disaster? This was the best definition that I was able to find “Natural disasters are extreme, sudden events caused by environmental factors that injure people and damage property. Earthquakes, windstorms, floods, and disease all strike anywhere on earth, often without warning” (Fact Monster). Have I, as a person who lives on the earth really been that out of touch with all of the things that happen which are natural disasters on earth?
I personally have had a close connection to a few natural disasters that have occurred in my lifetime. The first things that I have a recollection of when it comes to natural disasters, the earthquake that occurred in Portland in the 90’s, Hurricane Katrina, and the Tsunami in Japan in 2011. As I know many, many other disasters have happened and will continue to happen that I may never know about. These three events are events that I, or family has been strongly effected by in my lifetime. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina happened I was living in Louisiana. I was living in Monroe Louisiana, and had never been exposed to the kind of weather that they have there, let alone a hurricane. I think that for the first time in my life I felt like I was truly witnessing this natural disaster, where people were dying and everything was out of control.
After moving back to Portland, in my mind I remember thinking that something like that would never happen in Portland. In the same thought I recall thinking…if something like that did occur here, I would be in huge trouble. When the Tsunami in Japan happened I recall seeing it on the news, and thinking about how awful it was, but it didn’t really hit home until I heard about how it may also hit Hawaii. I had a VERY close friend who was in Hawaii at the time, and this was terrifying. Thankfully, my friend called me and let me know the things that she was doing to be sure she was safe, but it was fearful for me, hearing the sirens in the background. Why was it that when the event in Japan happened that I wasn’t in such fear? Am I really that self centered that I only worry about things when they effect someone or myself I know?
After taking this class, listening to classmates history, and reading the text I am far more aware and truly think that I have a deeper connect with how natural disasters effect others. Also, how there natural disaster effects our environment. I could tell you that I was now going to store up food and things, but I honestly am not going to at this point. I personally am going to start by having more appreciation for all that is happening around me on earth. Through this I know that I will become more deeply involved emotionally and mentally.
Fact Monster. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0775896.html