Social Question

anniereborn's avatar

Have you ever been caught in a natural disaster?

Asked by anniereborn (5236 points ) November 18th, 2013

Have you ever been hurt? Have you ever had loved ones hurt? Property damage?

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26 Answers

downtide's avatar

I’ve seen some spectacular weather occasionally but never any injuries or damage. There was one close call though, when I was a kid. We went on holiday to Cornwall during a week of storms (it was the same week that some sailors died in the Fastnet Yacht race). One afternoon we were on the beach at Carlyon Bay when it started to rain. There is an overhanging cliff behind the beach so we all stood under the overhang for shelter. Mum complained that sand was falling on her so we moved a yard or two to the side. Seconds later a boulder three feet across fell from the cliff and landed exactly where she’d been standing. After that we moved well away from the cliff! My mum was pregnant at the time, so I almost lost her AND my brother that day.

jerv's avatar

I lived in New England.

Blizzards, ice storms, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes… all par for the course. The National Guard tries, but they often arrive well after the normal citizens had everything under control just through sheer practice.

Never hurt myself, nor anybody I know, and fatalities were rare. Katrina took out many acres, washing houses away, and the land that the houses were on as well, plus taking out most of the roads in the county. We lost 4 people there.

But for the most part, people there are so used to bad weather that what most would call “Natural Disaster”, we called “Tuesday”.

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve been through some big earthquakes. Managed to get through with only minor property damage: things falling over and falling on other things. No severe injuries, just bumps and bruises and cuts.

ucme's avatar

An old teacher of mine had a terrible temper, no kid would dare cross her.
I was only once on the receiving end of her infamous yelling, came over me like a wave of destruction, her name…Miss Sue Narmey!

ragingloli's avatar

I was there when Humanity was born, yes.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Eight years of Reagan,

Eight years of Bush II. Both were disasters.

Oh, you mean hurricanes and stuff?

Not directly. Being in north Georgia, we don’t get the main brunt of hurricanes. Back in the 90s, we had a lot of residual wind and rain – knocking down lots of trees and screwing things up for days – as a result of one of the hurricanes that had gone through Florida and turned northward. But we had it far less severe than the people in south Georgia and Florida.

filmfann's avatar

Well, the Loma Prieta earthquake, Firestorm, and a monsoon in China are probably the worst I have seen. I have a pretty gruesome story from the earthquake, when a friend of my sister’s died.

Seek's avatar

I’ve been in Florida for almost 20 years, so yeah. Lots of hurricanes, most of which had worse storm surges than wind damage. A tree fell on my car once, but it survived (the car, not the tree).

keobooks's avatar

I moved to Florida to an area that boasted that it hadn’t been hit by a hurricane in 60+ years. When I moved, two months later a hurricane made a direct hit. And then three weeks after that another one made a direct hit. Then a month later a third one made a direct hit. I decided next year would be better—it should be another 60+ years before one hit, right? No.. the next year a FOURTH one made a direct hit.

I moved back north after that.

ibstubro's avatar

A few years ago the Mississippi was really high and our levee was really weak, and we thought we were going to lose the business there for a couple of weeks. I live in one state, but he nearest civilization is on the other side of the Mississippi in another state. When they close bridges, it’s a pain in the butt.

I was in the South shortly after Katrina, and I was awed, speechless.

I was through Joplin shortly after the tornado ate the town, and it was not believable that a thriving town had been there shortly before.

I don’t think you can get a real sense of these disasters through TV and photos. It’s just too big. If I have the opportunity to view the devastation without being in the way, I do. It’s not thrill seeking, it just increases the depth of my empathy for other in the situation.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

This is hard to put down, because it’s taking me back. I lived a lifetime thinking we were safe and then we got hit with an inch of rain an hour for seven straight hours. This area is hills and river valleys, no way that it could hold that. I saw more shit than I ever want to see again. People standing by, watching their houses and possessions swallowed up by the water, with looks of horror on their faces. Houses falling into the rivers and floating downstream. My stepfather’s camp had 6 or 7 feet of river inside. My brother had 3 plus feet of water in his finished basement. All of my nieces clothes, all of their photo albums, a rec room all trashed. We lost three people to accidents in the area from washed out roads. You lose your sense of security in a flash. All you can do is get out of the way and wait for it to go away. And joy, five years later we get a repeat show.

ibstubro's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe We had the same thing happen here a few years back. Torrential rain caused a “creek” to top the levee and the next thing we knew, houses not even close to water were flooded. Literally not to be believed if you don’t experience it yourself. Fortunately, ours seems to have been a one time deal. Knock wood.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ibstubro Until you see the looks on people’s faces. That’s stuck with me. Or you reach through 3 feet of water to pick up your sister in law’s wedding album. Yeah, it’s tough to describe until you experience it.

Pachy's avatar

I experienced an aftershock once, in Phoenix of all places. I was on top floor of a 12-story building sitting at my desk. I first noticed my vertical blinds were swaying (windows were sealed). When I stood up and started walking, I felt the floor rolling. It was extremely disorienting.

The whole episode lasted probably less than 30 seconds, but it was a very long 30 seconds.
The actual earthquake took place in Mexico, and I know my momentary discomfort paled by comparison to what the Mexicans were going through (and what others of you have been through in other situations). Still, I wouldn’t want to go through even an aftershock again.

Rarebear's avatar

Many earthquakes, but most notably the 1989 Loma Prieta quake.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I lived in Grand Forks ND for a while. There was always the annual spring flood, two or three blizzards a year and usually one good rain with localized flash flooding.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I live in Kansas, so sure. But nothing that compares to the tsunamis or hurricane Andrew, etc.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, right @Dutchess_III. Try telling that to Dorothy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The movie twister was filmed in Oklahoma, not to terribly far from here. There’s a dude in Ark City, Kansas, a town just about 12 miles south of here, who did all the cars in the movie. Long story, but fascinating when he tells it.

jonsblond's avatar

An F1 tornado in 1999. It broke some of our windows in our house and put a small hole in our roof. We were without power for several days and residents had to show an i.d. to enter our town to prove our residency. Red Cross fed us lunch on the days that we didn’t have power.

The recent tornadoes in Illinois hit very close to the house we used to live in when the tornado hit us in 1999. We don’t live there anymore, but we have many friends and family in the area. I have friends in Washington, IL and one of the tornadoes also came within a mile from my sister’s home. This tornado hit too close to home and has affected many people that I know. It’s heartbreaking.

Tornadoes can be just as bad, if not worse than hurricanes. You have more time to prepare for a hurricane. Typhoon Haiyan had sustained winds of 195 mph. The tornado in Washington, IL had windspeeds of 190 mph.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Straight line winds are the devil too.

ibstubro's avatar

We’ve been having a devil of a time around here with straight line winds, @Dutchess_III. Scares me, because that’s the most likely natural disaster to befall my house.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We had one blow through once as I was walking out my back door. Out of the blue. Knocked me on my butt and ripped pictures off the wall all along its path until it slammed into the front door. Then it was over.

ibstubro's avatar

They have massacred whole stands of trees within a few miles of my house in the past couple years. I live in the valley of the Mississippi River, and I could be homeless if it keeps up.

jonsblond's avatar

@ibstubro I’m about 40 miles from the Mississippi. Close to the Iowa and Missouri border. I think we might be neighbors. :)

Winds from the storms this past Sunday knocked out our internet and Hughesnet can’t come fix it until next Monday. I’m sittin’ in McD’s right now using their wifi. At least I have a house. I hate to complain about not having internet. but it’s frustrating. grrr

ibstubro's avatar

@jonsblond probably can’t more than an hour. I’m literally in the valley – IL MO and visit Keokuk on a fairly regular basis. I like the Antique Mall there.

You should be used to being without @jonsblond. My Wild Blue drops out at the thought of rain most times.

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