What Are Natural Disasters? By: Rory Blakeley

4 Natural disasters

Do you live in tornado alley? Or maybe Java or Sumatra? If you do, then you know that a natural disaster can happen at anytime and anywhere. You therefore have to be prepared or you'll have a tough time knowing what to do and how to cope. It is also important that governments and communities are ready to respond in these unexpected situations, and never assume that we are always able to resist them.

Jim Wallis said “Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to reveal a social disaster” This means that sometimes governments or communities are not prepared to cope with natural disasters and they can only learn when one actually happens. Jim Wallis is a christian writer and political activist.

Types Of Disasters

If you have just moved to a new place and you don’t quite understand what the natural disasters that can happen really are, then keep reading on…

Most Frequent

The most frequent natural disasters in the world are tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and thunderstorms. Tornadoes are a rotating column of air moving at high speed. When an object gets close to the tornado, it will suck the object into the rotating column. An earthquake is when the earth’s surface shakes and vibrates which causes massive damage. Tsunamis are massive waves caused by underwater and land disturbance (earthquakes, volcanoes, meteorites, and nuclear weapons). Thunderstorms are a weather formation where lightning and thunder are produced by cumulonimbus clouds.

Most Dangerous

The 4 most dangerous natural disasters in recent recorded history are the China Flood of 1931, The Tangshan Earthquake of 1976, The Bhola Cyclone of 1970, and The Indian Ocean Earthquake And Tsunami Of 2004. These are the most dangerous since the 1930’s.

Ice And Heat Storms

The 5 different types of ice and heat storms are landslides, snow and hail storms, cold and ice storms, avalanches, and drought. Landslides are a downward movement of rock and soil debris. A snow & hail storm is usually called a blizzard, which is a massive snowstorm that is very dangerous and which can also cause flooding. Cold & ice storms are known as freezing rain. An avalanche can create a mass of snow and debris that destroys everything in it’s path as it rushes down a hillside. And finally droughts are unexpected periods with no rainfall which results in shortage of water leading to drought.

Other Disasters

There are a number of other types of natural disasters which are linked to global warming, and plague or pestilence and disease. Global warming is now thought to be linked to human activities which may be playing a part of the heating cycle this means that humans are giving off gases into the atmosphere that makes the earth warmer. Plague occurs in many different forms such as zika, ebola and bubonic plague which was spread by rats. Finally, volcanoes are a landform created by magma from the earth’s interior which penetrates through weakness in the earth’s surface.

This Is A Tornado
This Is A Thunderstorm
This Is A Blizzard

How Are They Formed?

Now that you know the different types of disasters, now you need to know how they are formed. This is one of the most important things you need to know about, so that you can survive a natural disaster. So let’s try putting this into 3 distinct groups like weather related disasters, falling and water disasters, and movements of the earth.

Weather Related Disasters

Weather related disasters are disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and cold and ice storms. Tornadoes need 3 conditions to be met such as both the collision of a warm and humid air system with a cold or dry air and a high speed weather system. A hurricane needs heat and moisture in order to be sustained. Thunderstorms are caused when moist, warm air rises from the earth’s surface. A cold & ice storm is freezing rain which begins as snow, which falls from a cloud towards earth and melts completely on its way down through a layer of relatively warm air. A snow & hail storm is snow formed from condensed water on the atmosphere.

Movements Of The Earth

These are disasters caused by movements from down within the earth’s core and upwards, These are earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. Earthquakes are when the earth’s surface shakes and vibrates. A volcano is a landform created by magma from the earth’s interior which penetrates through weaknesses in the earth’s surface. Tsunamis are massive waves that are caused by underwater and land disturbance such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, meteorites, and nuclear weapons being tested all of which can cause them.

Natural Disasters and how they affect daily life?

Any type of natural disaster can cause a lot of physical damage but it also causes damage to people's lives. With all natural disasters they can cause people to have to leave their homes with people losing their homes, their living and their jobs. This can also lead to people getting injured and in worst cases is people losing their lives.

According to Petra Nemcova, “We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn't have to be lost if there was enough disaster” This means that we can learn how to survive a natural disaster.

What To Do When Natural Disasters Occur?

If you're not prepared for a natural disaster then you and your family will suffer so keep reading on…

You will need the following supplies such as special medicine, first aid supplies, valuables, flashlight, batteries, bulbs, battery operated portable radio, tools, gloves, boots, and hard hat, dry clothing, games, important papers, and bank books and check books, and food that lasts for a long time. It helps to have a place of refuge which in some cases can keep you safe when a disaster is happening or can be a place to stay longer term like with family who live in a safe place.

If when natural disasters occur then you might need to evacuate, get under chairs/tables, get to high ground, keep your distance, and maybe get under bridges. This is just a suggestion in what to do during a disaster and I figure that you should be ready for the disaster which might occur where you live.


There are lots of different types of natural disasters in the world today and it is really important to know what is likely to happen in the place where you live. Even with all the latest help available it sometimes doesn’t stop really bad things happening.

Neil degrasse Tyson said “Even with all our technology and the inventions that make modern life so much easier than it once was, it just takes one big natural disaster to wipe all that away and reminds us that, here on earth, we’re still at the mercy of nature”. This means that you can’t ignore the power of the earth and think that you are safe in your small modern technology world.

You need to be prepared and have the right equipment and the right knowledge so that you can successfully survive a natural disaster, remembering that your own safety is often in your hands and you can’t rely on others or on your modern technology.


Natural Disasters Association


National Geographic

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