Saturday, March 13, 2010

Natural Disasters

One of my favorite bloggers mentioned local flooding recently and said that she hadn't thought about flooding when she moved there.

Hm, maybe I'm odd, but I did consider natural disasters in choosing a place to live. Although I went to college in Texas (hurricanes and tornados) and Missouri, (tornados and earthquakes) my first choice was along the shores of Lake Superior (no natural disasters). Considering other factors, I eventually settled not far from Lake Michigan.

Yes, there are tornados, but our early warning system is especially good, and if you retreat to the basement during a tornado warning, you will generally be safe even if a tornado hits your neighborhood (unlikely) or your house (even more unlikely).

Flooding? Unless Lake Michigan rises twenty feet, an actual flood is impossible. Everything drains toward the Lake. Low-lying areas surrounded by higher areas are prone to flash flooding in unusually heavy and sustained rains. Don't live there. But even those drain in about 24 hours. Drought? Not unless Lake Michigan dries up.

Heat? We only get a week or two of even moderately hot (highs 90 degrees or above) in a year. Ice storms? Well, we get them, but they aren't the disaster here that they are in the South. Why? They happen often enough that weak limbs break off before they get big enough to be a danger to people or power lines. Blizzards and subzero temperatures? Those are natural hazards, not natural disasters. Try to be home when they start, or as soon after as you possibly can. Stay inside during the worst of it, and it won't affect you.

Hurricanes? Tsunamis? Too far inland. Earthquakes? No fault lines for hundreds of miles. Volcanos? You'd have to travel even farther to find one.

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Blogger Brownie said...

I am absolutely flattered that you named me as one of your "favorite bloggers"!

I will agree with you on your view of natural disasters and hazards. There are tornadoes around here, but very few. I think the closest one was about 5 miles away. My house was built 100 yrs ago and has stood to testify - no tornado here! And blizzards?! Oh, give me a blizzard any day (or 2 or 3)above the catastrophes of other areas! Get in the house, stay in the house and you'll be fine.

The only other natural hazards around here are the mosquitoes in the summer. I'd rather have the blizzards....

March 14, 2010 at 6:11 PM  

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