We all know that natural disasters can happen at any time, without warning. And when they do, they can cause a lot of damage- both physically and emotionally. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the worst natural disasters in history, and what could have been done to better prepare for them. Each disaster had a different set of causes and effects, but one thing is clear: preparation is key. So make sure you are prepared for the next big disaster that comes your way; earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, heat waves, wildfires, coronal mass ejections (CME), and pandemics.
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Earthquakes are one of the most destructive natural disasters. They can level entire cities and kill thousands of people. Earthquakes happen when there is a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust. This can happen when two plates collide, or when a plate slips under another. Earthquakes can be unpredictable and devastating.
Earthquakes are measured using the Richter magnitude scale. The Richter magnitude scale is a logarithmic scale that measures the size of an earthquake. The Richter magnitude scale goes from 0 to 11, with 0 being the smallest earthquake and 11 being the largest. The largest earthquake ever recorded was a magnitude 9.5 earthquake that hit Chile in 1960.
Today people on the northwest coast of the USA are preparing for a possible earthquake off the coast of Oregon and Washington called the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. This earthquake is expected to be a magnitude nine with waves over 100 feet high. People are advised to have at least two weeks of supplies, including food, water, and medicine. They are also advised to have a plan for where they will go if their home is damaged or destroyed.
General preparations for an earthquake include things such as having an emergency plan, knowing where you will go and what you will do if an earthquake hits, having an emergency kit ready, being aware of your surroundings, and knowing what to do if a building collapses.
Specific things you can do to prepare for an earthquake include:
- Identify safe spots in each room of your home, office, or school. These are places where you can go to stay safe during an earthquake.
- Anchor heavy furniture to the wall. This will help prevent it from tipping over and injuring you during an earthquake.
- Know how to turn off your gas and water. This will help prevent fires and flooding after an earthquake.
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by earthquakes:
- Build seismically safe structures that can withstand the shaking of an earthquake
- Have a plan for what to do during and after an earthquake
- Educate people about what to do during and after an earthquake
- Make sure buildings are up to code and meet earthquake safety standards
- Have a early warning system to give people time to evacuate
- Having a centralized emergency management system
- Backup power for emergency systems
1920: Haiyuan Flows, in Gansu Province, China
The December 1920 Haiyuan Flows, in Ninxia/Gansu Province, China, was a series of landslides caused by a large earthquake plus multiple aftershocks that hit the area over several days. It is estimated that over 225,000-250,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest landslides in history. The cost of this event is estimated to be over $10 billion.
2004: Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Over 230,000 people were killed in 14 countries, making it one of the deadliest tsunamis on record. The earthquake had a magnitude of 9.1-9.3 and created waves that reached heights of over 30 meters (100 ft). Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand were the hardest hit by the tsunami.
2010: Haiti Earthquake
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a devastating magnitude-seven quake that hit the already poverty-stricken country of Haiti. It is estimated that over 220,000 – 250,000 people were killed, making it the, if not one of the, deadliest earthquakes of the 21st century. More than one million people were left homeless, and the damage was estimated at $8-$13 billion and took over a decade to rebuild.
2011: Tohoku, Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
The 2011 Tohoku, Japan earthquake and tsunami was one of the costliest natural disasters in Japan’s history. The total financial cost was over $250 billion, making it the most expensive disaster in world history. There were over 25,000 deaths/injuries and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. The earthquake had a magnitude of nine (the strongest recorded in Japan’s history), and the tsunami caused waves of up to 40 meters (130 ft).
Volcanic eruptinons are another type of natural disaster that can cause great devastation. Volcanic eruptions happen when molten rock, ash, and gas escape from the Earth’s surface. They can occur at any time of day or night and without warning. The molten rock, called magma, is heated by the Earth’s heat. This can happen when the magma is in the Earth’s mantle or when it is in a magma chamber under the Earth’s surface. When the pressure gets too high, the magma can break through the Earth’s surface.
Volcanoes are measured using the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI). This is a scale from 0-to-eight that measures the explosiveness of the eruption. The VEI takes into account how much material is ejected, how high into the air it is ejected, and how far the material falls from the volcano. The VEI does not take into account the damage caused by lava flows, mudflows, or avalanches.
Today people around Yellowstone Supervolcano are especially aware of the need to be prepared. If the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupts, it would be one of the worst natural disasters in human history. It would cause global climate change, food shortages, and mass extinction.
General preparations for volcanic eruptions include such things as knowing the dangers of volcanic ash, having an evacuation plan, having a supply of food and water, and staying informed about the latest conditions and advisories.
Specific things you can do to prepare for a volcanic eruption include:
- Knowing the signs of an impending eruption
- Being familiar with the types of health hazards and how to protect yourself from them
- Knowing the safest routes to take and multiple destination points in case of an evacuation
- Ensuring your vehicle is always ready to go
- Knowing how to turn off utilities if necessary
- Staying informed about the latest volcanic activity and conditions
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by volcanoes:
- More effective transportation and evacuation procedures
- Better land-use planning to avoid building in at-risk areas
- Better communication to warn people of the impending eruption.
- Better use of resources in predicting and monitoring volcanic activity
- More resources in scientific research to develop better models for predicting eruptions
1815: Mount Tambora
The eruption of Mount Tambora, Indonesia in 1815 was the largest volcanic eruption in history. Over 100,000 people were killed by the eruption, and it caused widespread damage to crops and infrastructure. The eruption ejected so much ash into the atmosphere that it caused global cooling and led to what is known as the “Year Without a Summer.”
1980: Mount St. Helens
The worst volcanic eruption in the United States occurred at Mount St. Helens in 1980. Over 57 people were killed by the eruption, which also caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure. The eruption ejected an enormous amount of ash into the atmosphere, which led to widespread disruption of air travel.
1991: Mount Pinatubo
The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines is the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. It killed over 700 people and caused widespread damage to infrastructure. The eruption also led to global cooling, as it ejected a large amount of ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.
The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland was relatively small, but it caused widespread disruption to air travel. Over 100,000 flights were canceled and tens of millions of people were stranded due to the ash cloud that the eruption produced.
A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific. In the Atlantic, hurricanes occur between June and November, while in the Northeast Pacific, they occur between May and November. Hurricanes are caused by a combination of warm ocean water and moist air. The warm ocean water provides the energy for the hurricane, while the moist provides the moisture for the hurricane.
Hurricanes are measured using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This scale is used to rate the potential damage of a hurricane. The categories range from Category One, which has winds of 74-95 mph, to Category Five, which has winds of 157 mph or higher.
Today, people along the coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific are the most at risk of hurricanes because they are the most likely to be in the path of these storms. However, as the climate changes and the oceans warm, hurricanes are becoming more frequent and more intense, which means that people in other parts of the world are also at risk.
General preparations for hurricanes include such things as having a plan to evacuate if necessary, making sure your home is secure and can withstand high winds, Keeping a list of emergency contacts handy, and stocking up on supplies in case you lose power or water.
Specific things you can do to prepare for a hurricane include:
- Secure your home or business against high winds by making sure windows and doors are properly shuttered
- Have cash on hand in case ATMs and banks are closed
- Charge your cell phone and have extra batteries in case of power outages
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by hurricanes:
- Building codes can be put in place to make sure that buildings can withstand high winds
- Evacuation routes can be planned and disaster shelters can be designated
- Trees and other vegetation can be trimmed to reduce the chances of them being blown over in high winds
- Levees and seawalls can be built to protect against storm surge
1992: Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Andrew (1992) in the United States (estimated cost: $26.51 billion) was one of the most destructive hurricanes in history. It caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure and left many people without power or clean water for weeks. The death toll from Hurricane Andrew was relatively low (65 people) however, the damage it caused was extensive. In terms of cost, it is the second-most expensive hurricane in US history.
2005: Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina (2005) in the United States (estimated cost: $108 billion) is the most expensive hurricane in US history. The hurricane made landfall on August 29, 2005, causing levees and floodwalls to fail, resulting in catastrophic flooding in New Orleans. Over 80% of New Orleans was flooded, and thousands of people were stranded without food or water for days. In all, over 1800 people died as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
2012: Hurricane Sandy (2012)
Hurricane Sandy (2012) in the United States (estimated cost: $75 billion) was one of the largest hurricanes on record. It caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure, particularly in New York and New Jersey. The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst on record, causing flooding and damage to homes and businesses. In all, over 250 people died as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
2017: Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma (2017) in the Caribbean and southeastern United States (estimated cost: $50 billion) was one of the most powerful hurricanes on record. It caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure, particularly in the Caribbean island of Barbuda which was almost completely destroyed. In all, over 300 people died as a result of Hurricane Irma.
2017: Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey (2017) in the United States (estimated cost: $125 billion) was one of the most destructive hurricanes in US history. It caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure, particularly in Houston, Texas which was inundated with floodwaters. In all, over 60 people died as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
2018: Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence (2018) in the United States (estimated cost: $24.16 billion) was one of the most destructive hurricanes in US history. It caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure, particularly in North Carolina which was inundated with floodwaters. In all, over 50 people died as a result of Hurricane Florence.
Tornadoes are another type of natural disaster that can cause extensive damage and loss of life. They are most common in the United States, particularly in the Midwest and Southeast and occur most often in the spring and summer months. They are created when warm air and cold air meet, creating a rotating column of air. When this column of air comes into contact with the ground, it can cause extensive damage to property and infrastructure. Tornadoes can range in size from small, localized whirlwinds to large, destructive storms that span several miles.
Tornadoes are measured using the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which ranges from EF0 (the weakest) to EF05 (the strongest). tornadoes can cause damage that ranges from minor (EF0) to catastrophic (EF05).
Today, people in the Midwest are preparing for the “Big One” – a large, destructive tornado that is expected to hit the region. Some people are stocking up on supplies, while others are making sure their homes are tornado resistant. While no one can predict when or where the Big One will hit, being prepared can help to minimize the damage it causes.
General preparations for tornadoes can include having a plan for where to go if a tornado is headed your way, having a disaster supply kit ready in case you need to evacuate, and knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form, while a tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted and you should take shelter immediately.
Specific things you can do to prepare for a tornado include:
- Know where the nearest safe shelter is and how to get there quickly
- Go to a safe room in your house or building, such as a basement or storm cellar.
- If you don’t have a safe room, go to an interior room on the lowest level of your house or building, such as a bathroom, closet, or hallway.
- Get away from windows and outside walls.
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by tornadoes:
- Build tornado-resistant buildings: tornado-resistant building codes can help to minimize the damage caused by tornadoes.
- Develop a tornado warning system: a tornado warning system can help to warn people of an impending tornado, giving them time to seek shelter.
- Create a disaster plan: a disaster plan can help people to know what to do in the event of a tornado.
- Educate people about tornadoes: education can help people to understand the dangers of tornadoes and how to stay safe.
1925: Tri-State Tornado
The Tri-State Tornado (1925) caused over 700 deaths and $17 million in damage. It was the deadliest tornado in US history and covered Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Southwest Indiana. This tornado resulted from a perfect storm of conditions that came together to create a cyclical supercell. A cyclical supercell is a thunderstorm that is capable of producing multiple tornadoes through a multiple storm cycles – weakening and then strengthening again. The EF05 tornado had a width of over a mile and wind speeds in excess of 300 mph.
1940: Natchez Tornado
The Natchez Tornado (1940) killed 317 people and caused $100 million in damage. It was the deadliest tornado in Mississippi history and struck the city of Natchez. This tornado was estimated to be over a half-mile wide with an EF rating of five. It was the second deadliest tornado in US history, behind only the Tri-State Tornado.
1959: St. Louis Tornado
The St. Louis Tornado (1959) killed 22 people and caused $100 million in damage. It was the deadliest tornado in Missouri history and struck the city of St. Louis. The tornado was about 200 yards wide with winds reaching up to 190 mph. It was rated as an EF04 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
2011: Joplin Tornado
The Joplin Tornado (2011) caused 158 deaths and $30 billion in damage. It was the deadliest tornado in US history. The tornado was about a mile wide and had wind speeds in excess of 200 mph. It was rated as an EF05 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
2013: Moore Tornado
The Moore Tornado (2013) killed 24 people and caused $40 billion in damage. It was the deadliest tornado in Oklahoma history and struck the city of Moore. The tornado was about three-quarters of a mile wide with winds reaching up to 210 mph. It was rated as an EF05 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
Snow and Ice Storms
Snow and Ice Storms [Nor’Easters and Blizzards] can cause widespread power outages, damage to trees and property, and make travel very dangerous. Snow storms develop because of a low-pressure system that moves into the area. The air near the surface of the earth is forced to rise, and as it does so, it cools and condenses into water vapor. This water vapor then turns into clouds and eventually into precipitation.
Ice storms differ from snowstorms in that they develop when the air near the surface of the earth is above freezing, but the air higher up in the atmosphere is below freezing. This can create a layer of ice on surfaces that can be very dangerous.
Nor’Easters are a type of snow and ice storm that develops off the coast of the Northeastern United States. These storms get their name from the direction of the wind (from the northeast) that accompanies them. Nor’Easters can be very destructive, causing widespread power outages and damage to property.
Blizzards are a type of snowstorm that is characterized by high winds and low visibility. Blizzards can make travel very dangerous, and even impossible.
Snow and ice storms are measured using the Snowfall Severity Index (SSI). The SSI is a scale from 0 to 12 that takes into account the amount of snowfall, the duration of the storm, and the wind speed. A storm with an SSI of 0 is considered to be a light snow event, while a storm with an SSI of 12 is considered to be a major blizzard.
Today, people in cold weather climates are better prepared for snow and ice storms than ever before. However, these storms can still be very destructive and cause widespread power outages, damage to property, and make travel dangerous. It is important to be aware of the dangers these storms pose and take steps to prepare for them.
General personal preparations for snow and ice storms include stocking up on food and water, having a backup plan for heat and power, knowing how to shut off water to your home, and having a winter car kit.
Specific things you can do to prepare for snow and ice storms include:
- Check the weather forecast and be aware of any watches or warnings that have been issued.
- Monitor local radio, television, or social media for updates on the storm.
- Charge all electronic devices in case of a power outage.
- Fill up your car with gas in case you need to evacuate.
- Have cash on hand in case ATM’s are not working.
- Stay indoors and off the roads if possible.
- Dress in layers of loose, warm clothing.
- Wear boots, a hat, and gloves.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Avoid strenuous activity, as you will be more susceptible to hypothermia.
- Know how to shut off water to your home in case of a broken pipe.
- Keep a winter car kit in your vehicle that includes items such as a shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, blankets, non-perishable food, and water.
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by snow and ice storms:
- Providing salt and sand for icy roads and sidewalks
- Clearing snow from roads, sidewalks, and public spaces
- Opening warming centers for people without power
- Cancelling school and work
- Delaying or rescheduling travel
- Checking on elderly or vulnerable neighbors
1888 The Great White Hurricane
The Blizzard of 1888, also known as the Great White Hurricane, was a historic snowstorm that struck the Northeastern United States from March 11 to March 14, 1888. The storm brought high winds, heavy snowfall, and record-low temperatures. The storm caused widespread damage and travel disruptions. Over 400 people died as a result of the storm.
1978 Snowstorm of the Midwest
The Blizzard of 1978 was a historic snowstorm that struck the Midwest United States from January 25 to January 27, 1978. The storm caused widespread damage and travel disruptions. Over 100 people died as a result of the storm.
1993 Snowstorm of the Mid-Atlantic
The Blizzard of 1993 was a historic snowstorm that struck the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States from March 13 to March 15, 1993. The storm brought high winds, heavy snowfall, and record-low temperatures. The storm caused widespread damage and travel disruptions. Over 300 people died as a result of the storm.
1996 Snowstorm of the Northeast
The Blizzard of 1996 was a historic snowstorm that struck the Northeastern United States from January six to January eight, 1996. The storm brought high winds, heavy snowfall, and record-low temperatures. The storm caused widespread damage and travel disruptions. Over 100 people died as a result of the storm.
2009 Snowstorm of the Northeast
The North American blizzard of 2009 was a historic snowstorm that struck the Northeastern United States from February five to February six, 2009. The storm brought high winds, heavy snowfall, and record-low temperatures. The storm caused widespread damage and travel disruptions. Over 60 people died as a result of the storm.
2010 Snowstorm of the Northeast
The North American blizzard of 2010 was a historic snowstorm that struck the Northeastern United States from December 26 to December 27, 2010. The storm brought high winds, heavy snowfall, and record-low temperatures. The storm caused widespread damage and travel disruptions. Over 20 people died as a result of the storm.
A heat wave is a period of excessively hot weather, typically several days long. Heat waves can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. Heat waves develop when a high-pressure system moves into an area and traps warm air near the surface of the earth.
Heat waves are measured using the Heat Index, which takes into account both the temperature and the humidity. The heat index is calculated by adding the temperature and the dew point, then multiplying by 0.08. The dew point is the temperature at which water vapor condenses into water.
The Heat Index can be used to determine how hot it feels outside, and whether or not conditions are dangerous. A Heat Index of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is considered to be dangerous.
Today, people in hot weather climates are used to enduring heat waves, but they can still be deadly, especially for the elderly or those with chronic health conditions. In addition to the dangers posed by the heat itself, there is also an increased risk of wildfires and power outages during heat waves.
General personal preparations for heat waves include installing window air conditioners and portable fans, stocking up on food and water, checking on elderly or vulnerable neighbors, and staying hydrated.
Specific things you can do to prepare for heat waves include:
- Wear loose, cool clothing
- Take cool baths or showers
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Stay out of the sun
- Avoid strenuous activity
- Never leave children or pets in a parked car
- Know the differences between heat cramps, and heat exhaustion, as well as heat stroke, and how to treat each (heat cramps can be treated with fluids and rest, heat exhaustion by cooling the body and rehydrating, and heat stroke requires emergency medical attention).
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by heat waves:
- Opening cooling centers for people without power
- Cancelling school and work
- Delaying or rescheduling travel
- Checking on elderly or vulnerable neighbors
In June- August of 2003 there were over 30,000 deaths in Europe attributed to a heat wave. Temperatures in Paris reached 104°F (40°C). This was the hottest summer since 1540. The heat wave was caused by a large area of high pressure that parked itself over the continent.
In 2010, Russia suffered from its worst heat wave in recorded history. The country saw temperatures reach 104°F (40°C). This led to wildfires that burned out of control, destroyed crops, and left thousands of people homeless. Over 55,000 people died as a result of the heat wave and wildfires.
In 2012, a heat wave in the United States killed over 130 people. The heat wave was caused by a large area of high pressure that parked itself over the Midwest. Temperatures in some areas reached 115°F (46°C).
Wildfires are uncontrolled, fast-moving fires that can occur in forests or other areas of vegetation. Wildfires typically start from a spark, which can be caused by lightning, a cigarette, or even the sun. Once a fire starts, it can spread very quickly and be difficult to control. Wildfires can cause death, damage to property, and air pollution.
Wildfires are measured using the wildfire danger index, which is based on the fire weather conditions. The index takes into account the temperature, humidity, wind speed, and drought conditions. A wildfire danger index of 90 or higher is considered to be very dangerous.
Today, especially people in dry climates are at risk of wildfires. In addition to the dangers posed by the fire itself, there is also an increased risk of power outages and air pollution during wildfires.
General personal preparations for wildfires include creating or maintaining a defensible space around homes and other structures, having an evacuation plan, and staying informed about the location of the fire and air quality.
Specific things you can do to prepare for wildfires include:
- Clearing vegetation from around homes and other structures
- Have ventilation with HEPA filtration
- Prepare for utility outages
- Evacuate when ordered to do so
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by wildfires:
- Put evacuation plans in place if necessary
- Ensure utilities can handle the extra loads
- Establish Community Information Streams
- Establish Interagency Coordination for Firefighting Efforts
2010 Russian Wildfire
The Russian wildfires of 2010 were some of the worst in history. They burned out of control, destroyed crops, and left thousands of people homeless. Over 55,000 people died as a result of the heat wave and wildfires.
2013 California Wildfire
In August of 2013, a wildfire in California destroyed over 200 homes and killed two people. The fire started from a spark caused by a vehicle driving on dry grass. The fire spread quickly and was difficult to control.
2014 Arizona Wildfire
In May of 2014, a wildfire in Arizona destroyed over 100 homes and killed one person. The fire started from a spark caused by a cigarette. The fire spread quickly and was difficult to control.
2018 Camp Fire
The 2018 Camp Fire in California was the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. It killed 85 people and destroyed over 18,000 structures. The fire was started by a faulty wire at a PG&E power plant. The fire spread quickly and was difficult to control.
Coronal mass Ejections (CME)
A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a large release of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun. CMEs can cause geomagnetic storms, which can disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field. This can cause power outages, damage to infrastructure, and communication problems.
CMEs are measured using the geomagnetic storm scale. A storm of G-scale one is considered to be a minor storm, while a G-scale five is considered to be a major storm. The damage caused by a G-scale one storm is typically minor, a G-scale two storm can cause power outages and damage to infrastructure, G-scale three storm can cause communication problems, and a G-scale four storm can cause widespread power outages, and a G-scale five storm can cause major damage to infrastructure.
There are three main types of CMEs: halo, partial halo, and full halo. Halo CMEs are the most dangerous, as they can cause geomagnetic storms and are more likely to interact with the Earth’s magnetic field.
Today, with our almost 100% reliance on the grid, we are all vulnerable to an EMP or CME. It is important to understand the dangers and be prepared for a long-term power outage and the potential breakdown of society in the aftermath.
General personal preparations for CMEs include staying informed about the location of the storm and its intensity.
Specific things you can do to prepare for a CME include:
- Have an emergency kit ready
- Disconnect electronics from the power grid and use a faraday cage to protect them
- Have a backup plan for communication and navigation
- Be prepared for extremely long-term power outages by installing EMP protection devices for your car, home, generator, etc.
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by CMEs:
- Establishing early warning systems
- Shutting down power grids before a storm hits
- Protecting communication and navigation systems
- Shielding vulnerable infrastructure (electrical grid, gas pipelines, etc.)
- Staying informed about the location of the storm and its intensity
The worst solar storm in history occurred in 1859. The storm, known as the Carrington Event, caused widespread damage to telegraph systems and started fires in telegraph offices. The storm also caused auroras to be visible as far south as Cuba.
A similar storm today would cause widespread damage to the electrical grid and other infrastructure. It would also disrupt communication and navigation systems. The economic damage would be in the trillions of dollars.
Pandemics are large-scale outbreaks of infectious diseases that can kill many people. They can be natural or man-made. They can target any population or just portions of a population. Bio weaponized pandemics are created when a pathogen is purposely released to cause harm.
Endemic, Epidemic, and Pandemic.
Endemic pandemics are those that occur naturally and affect a small number of people. They are usually not deadly and only last for a short period of time. Epidemic pandemics are those that occur naturally and affect a large number of people. They can be deadly and last for a long period of time. Pandemic pandemics are those that are purposely created by humans. They can be deadly and last for a long period of time. Gain-of-function research increases the chances of a pandemic, whether accidentally release or intentionally released.
There are three main types of pandemics: respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological.
Respiratory pandemics are the most common type of pandemic. They are caused by viruses or bacteria that cause respiratory illnesses, such as influenza, SARS, and MERS. Gastrointestinal pandemics are caused by viruses or bacteria that cause gastrointestinal illnesses, such as cholera and typhoid fever. Neurological pandemics are caused by viruses or bacteria that cause neurological diseases, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
Pandemics and the response to them can have a devastating effect on communities and economies. It is important to be prepared for them, both on a personal level and a community or government level.
General personal preparations for pandemics include staying informed about the type, location, and the intensity of the outbreak.
Specific things you can do to prepare for a pandemic include:
- Have an emergency kit ready
- Disinfect surfaces
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- – Stay home if you are sick
- – Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
- – Seek medical care early
The following can be carried out by governments or communities to minimize the damage caused by pandemics:
- Establishing early warning systems
14th Century Black Plague
The most famous pandemic in history was the Black Death, which killed an estimated 50 million people in Europe in the 14th century. The Black Death was caused by the bubonic plague, which is a disease that is spread by fleas. The pandemic caused widespread panic and death, as well as social and economic disruption. The Black Death is thought to have originated in China and spread to Europe through trade routes.
1918 Spanish Flu
The 1918 Spanish Flu was one of the deadliest pandemics in history. Over 50 million people were killed by the flu, which was caused by a new strain of the influenza virus. The pandemic spread quickly around the world, due to the high levels of travel and trade at the time.
Other pandemics include the Asian Flu in 1957, which killed over two million people, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has killed over 35 million people since it began in the early 1980s.
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, thought to have originated in a Wuhan, China laboratory, was first identified in 2019. As of June 2020, there were over seven million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 400,000 deaths attributed to the virus. The numbers can be misleading as the virus has a wide range of symptoms, from mild to severe, and many people who contract the virus do not experience any symptoms at all, and others that die of other causes but also have COVID-19 are included in the death toll.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread panic and economic disruption. Many countries have imposed lockdown measures, travel restrictions, and social distancing guidelines in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. The pandemic response also resulted in a shortage of personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, as well as hospital beds and ventilators.
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is deadly in humans. The 2014 Ebola outbreak was the largest in history, with over 28,000 people being infected and 11,000 people dying. The outbreak began in Guinea and spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. The 2014 Ebola outbreak was the first time that the disease had been seen in West Africa.
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause birth defects in babies. The Zika virus outbreak began in Brazil in 2015 and has since spread to over 60 countries. The Zika virus is primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is found in tropical and subtropical regions.
Blog Post Conclusion
We hope this blog post has given you some valuable information on the worst natural disasters and how to better prepare for them; your way; earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, heat waves, wildfires, Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), and pandemics.
Remember the best way to prepare is always to be proactive and have a plan. Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post on how to better prepare for each of these disasters. And as always, stay safe out there!
If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact us.
Be Prepared! Stay Safe!