Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mother Nature

We had a wicked thunderstorm yesterday that woke me up sometime in the middle of the night. I love thunderstorms but this one was actually quite scary. The thunder was so loud it sounded like it was coming from my bedroom, and the lightning was so bright and constant that I had to turn away from the windows in order to get back to sleep. My husband is traveling too, so I didn't have him here to reassure me.

Anyway, it made me thankful that I've never lived in an area where natural disasters constantly threaten. In Upstate New York and in South Bend, Indiana there are blizzards, but I've found it isn't too hard to stay safe in a blizzard. You just don't drive, and make sure that you have tons of blankets and candles and preferably, a gas stove to keep you warm if the power goes out. I lived in New York City when Hurricane Irene came through in 2011 but it ended up being fairly minor and again, pretty easy to stay safe if you were inside. There are tornadoes in Alabama but they're not very common in our area (there was one this week but it was in northern Alabama). And our soon-to-be home, Virginia, is all-around pretty tame when it comes to extreme weather.

But in so many places, natural disasters are a part of regular life and that's a scary thought. Earthquakes and wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes, tsunamis and avalanches and volcanoes. Mother Nature is beautiful but she is powerful and can be so frightening.

I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to this sort of thing (you know those signs on the side of the road that warn of rock slides?--they terrify me) so I'm very grateful to have lived in areas that are mostly safe from natural disasters.

What about you? Do you live in a place with lots of earthquakes or hurricanes? How do you deal with it? I'm always amazed at how cavalier Southern Californians are about earthquakes--they simply know what to do when one hits and don't seem to stress about it at all!


  1. I completely agree. I live in the Chicago land area, and I just wonder how people deal with all of the storms. I am actually presenting a thesis on tornadoes a week from today!

  2. I live in a land-locked part of Canada so I feel pretty darn blessed about being safe from most natural disasters. But I'd move to beautiful, beautiful British Columbia in a heartbeat if it weren't for the landslides, flood, tsunami, and earth quake dangers! And I've always thought that these things can only get worse as the climate changes over the years. So, I guess in Ontario I will stay :)

  3. Oh! Good luck on your thesis presentation! :)

  4. Yes I think you're right that climate change does affect the frequency of natural disasters. It's terrifying to think about. And it does seem like some of the most beautiful areas are prone to natural disaster! Oh well, I guess we'll have to be content with just visiting!

  5. Interesting discussion! Tornadoes terrify me - there's something so frightening about the sheer power to lift buildings in the blink of an eye and destroy everything in their path. I think Southern Californians' take on earthquakes is ingrained because they happen so frequently and fortunately most don't cause much damage. [It is a learned trait: there was a decent shake a few years ago while I was at work - everyone remained calm except my boss at the time, a born and raised New Yorker. He practically jumped out of his office.] They still have the potential to be devastating, but the frequency seems far less than tornadoes.

  6. How funny about your boss! That would be me. But yes I think you're right that there's something really terrifying about tornadoes in particular. They can be so violent. I applaud you for your calmness in the face of earthquakes, though, I'm sure they're no fun to go through.


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