Natural disasters

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 11:27 PM | comments: 0

Seeing the photos from New York City and coastal areas of New Jersey are almost surreal. I think the most striking thing about Hurricane Sandy was that it hit in one of the most concentrated areas of humanity anywhere in the world. I can't imagine what people are going through there, particularly in areas with flooding and fires.

I was surprised at how bad it got here in Northeast Ohio. With two straight days of rain (and counting), there are a lot of flooded basements and leaking roofs. Wind damage is somewhat widespread, and people who still had boats in the water in Lake Erie marinas may have had issues with them breaking loose and washing ashore.

These kinds of events really make you think about what you would do if a natural disaster really got the best of you. It's too easy to be complacent here, because the odds of anything really causing widespread havoc is pretty low. At worst, a tornado could essentially erase entire neighborhoods, but I'm not sure there is anything you can really do about that beyond trying to stay safe.

I did think a little about earthquakes when we lived in Seattle, but never really acted on any notion to be more prepared. Chances are reasonable that our dwelling would survive a significant quake, but power outages could last quite awhile. Road damage is certainly a potential issue as well. I think in those cases, you're really doing your best to prepare for a week or two of inconvenience more than anything else.

We rely quite a bit on technology. It's hard to imagine most of it becoming irrelevant when half of your town is essentially washed out to see or blown away. My thoughts are with the people who endure that reality today.


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