How Much Does Mother Nature Hate Where YOU Live?

The Seattle quake got me thinking—especially after all the scare stories on the news about “what will happen when The Big One hits California”—how happy I am to be living on the East Coast.

I mean, Californians have to deal with earthquakes, mudslides and fires . . . The Midwest has tornados and floods . . . the South coast has hurricanes . . . All we get in the NY area is the occasional baby hurricane and blizzards. And you have to work pretty hard and plan ahead to get yourself killed in a blizzard!

How dangerous is it, weather- and natural disaster-wise, where you live, and how do you DEAL with it?

Well, having lived through both blizzards and earthquakes, not to mention a few near-miss tornadoes, I think I’ll take earthquakes. At least they aren’t part of the normal weather pattern.

Here in San Diego the main concern is fire, and if you don’t live in a canyon, you’re very unlikely to be involved in one.

Really, the most dangerous times around here are the first few minutes of a rainstorm. The weather is usually so good, people forget how to drive when it isn’t.

People are always shocked by earthquakes and floods and whatnot, but I’ll be more people are killed by plain old heat and cold every year.

Well, being in a tinder-dry area right now, and waiting for hurricane season to hit, with the ever present threat of lightning strikes and tornados, I’d say I’ve got as much as possible under control:
[li]emergency routes planned out[/li][li]extra batteries for the weather radio, flashlights, and portable tv[/li][li]tents and blankets by the door[/li][li]emergency food and supplies in the car and by the door[/li][li]money tucked away on odd places[/li][li]cat shots up to date (and an appointment to get an information chip inserted in her)[/li]I also have some heavy-duty gloves and tree tools on order.

Sometimes there’s only so much you can do, and other times, you just can’t do enough. Things will happen, but if I can be prepared, so much the better.

Central Virginia reporting in.

Winters are usually fairly mild and significant snows are pretty rare (but seem to be increasing in frequency). That being said, when it does snow here people just completely flip out. We’ve also had a few horrendous ice storms the past 5 years or so. No power for days (weeks in some parts).

Summer brings the heat and humidity (which I love). Thunderstorms pop up (always just as I’m getting ready to leave the building to go home it seems)and can make the going rough. Tornadoes aren’t unheard of. My favorite time of year, though. I love that thick, sticky feeling where you can almost hear the air - that torpid buzz.

Spring and fall are both too short. A day each at the most.

Jax hasn’t been hit by a hurricane since Dora in '64 - years before I moved here. But, like screech-owl, I’m more worried about the drought and the potential for fire. I could scream every time the news reports that “X” brushfires have been extinguished in the last few days and arson is suspected. What kind of sick mind sets fire when things are SOOOOOO dry??

I look at the beautiful wooded preserve out my back door and worry that our brand new house won’t stand a chance. We’re going to prepare by gathering the absolute irreplaceables, just in case… and I guess we’d go to our boat - we can live there, cramped but safe from fire.

tho it’s raining today… <lil happy dance>

Mid-Michigan here.

Yeah, we get the occasional tornado, but really, that’s about it. Thunderstorms, yeah, the occasional blizzard (rare!). Mostly just lots of rain.

The only things we do is:
a) Don’t drive in the freezing rain
b) Don’t stand outside in a thunderstorm
c) Keep a section of the basement spider-free in case you need to go down there in a tornado warning.

We’re pretty mild, all in all.

Alberta reporting in; at first I thought “We don’t have any of that stuff here; we’re doing pretty good.” then I realized that for 6 or 7 months of the year here, walking out of your front door can kill you. I think most of us heard about that horrifying story about the baby in Edmonton that was almost killed by taking a 15 foot walk outside with no clothes on.

How do we deal with it? Every day in every way without even thinking about it. What I don’t understand is how people new to Canada deal with it. Prairie people have a very deep understanding about how to live in the cold, but how do you teach somebody about what constitutes a danger to your health and what is just a little cold skin?

Heat and cold are the main killers here, as someone else noted . . . Lots of old people with no a/c die every year from the heat—but as for me, I loooove it. When it’s 95º out, I’m in my little cotton slipdress, strolling about, merry as a grig. I do hate the cold, but the worst that’s happened to me in a blizzard is getting stranded (preferably at home, not at work!). They’re making noises about a big storm this Sunday/Monday, but maybe it’ll head out to sea . . .

What terrifies me is earthquakes and tornados. Both come out of nowhere, and there’s nothing you can do to save yourself when they hit. What if you’re out driving when a twister hits? Or strolling around in a strange neighborhood? Too many viewings of “The Wizard of Oz,” I guess . . .

And earthquakes? I have friends in L.A. and San Francisco, and they all have hair-raising earthquake stories to tell. I just couldn’t live like that . . .

Coast of South Carolina

In the past six years I’ve lived in Raleigh, the coast of North Carolina, and the coast of South Carolina. In those six years, I’ve been through 6 major hurricanes - the mandatory evacuation kind. I’ve actually evacuated for one of them (Floyd). I guess you just prepare the best you can, use your judgement and evacuate if you think it’s warranted, don’t think you’re a hero if you stay, and get good insurance.

They say there’s a psychological block for people who’ve stayed through hurricanes and didn’t have anything catastrophic happen to them. They tend not to leave, even if it looks like it’s going to be awful. That didn’t apply to my husband and me for Floyd. It was huge and at the time they thought it was going to be a Category 5 when it hit and they thought it was going to hit us dead on. We lived a block from the ocean. We planned to leave but wanted to wait until late in the night so all the tourists could get out ahead of us (nothing altruistic, we just didn’t want to sit for hours on the one road out of here). By 9:00 pm, our neighborhood was dead silent; it was extremely eerie. We boarded up and at about 11:00 we got out of Dodge. We crossed the waterway in the pouring rain and spent the night in my husband’s clinic. Then we got up at the crack of dawn and started driving. We drove to Hickory, NC before we could find a place to stay.

It turns out that nothing happened to our neighborhood, although there was severe devastation to the whole area and up into NC because of the flooding. I’m glad we left, though. We got married at my parents’ house a month later. They live on the coast of NC. The roads in their area were lined with people’s belongings that had been ruined in the flooding. It was so sad.

I was in Raleigh for Hurricane Fran. I was without power or water for 10 days. I witnessed two 16 year olds being swept away in the current of the local creek. My husband’s friend died cleaning up debris. The devastation was astounding. I think 24 people died during the hurricane and it’s clean-up. Fran gave me a hugely healthy respect for nature.

Panama here. Pretty damn close to perfect. No hurricanes, no tornados, no damaging earthquakes (where I live), no active volcanos, no blizzards, no ic, frost or snow, average annual temperature 82[sup]o[/sup] with a max of maybe 95[sup]o[/sup]. Sometimes a few streets flood during cloudbursts in the rainy season.

:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

…Um, big nasty disease-carrying bugs?

As a Seattleite, I’ll take earthquakes any day. In talking to people, the worst aspect to them, as mentioned by the lovely and talented Eve, is that there’s absolutely no warning. You could be reading, mowing the lawn, sleeping, driving down the freeway, jerking off, having lunch, whatever, and then, suddenly, the ground is shaking wildly. Two minutes later, it’s done, and all that’s left is the cleanup.

I compare that, in my mind, to triple-digit heat (or at the other extreme, subzero cold snaps) for days and weeks on end… or to hurricanes, which you see coming beforehand, but that last for hours or days… or floods, like in the plains surrounding the Mighty Mississip… And I’ll take our earthquakes and volcanoes any day of the week. Call me crazy, but there it is.

Minnesota here.

The weather doesn’t come right out and kill you; you just lose the will to live after a few months of the constant misery.

“Say, did ya hear about Bob?”

“No, what?”

“Vell, he and I vere vaiting for da bus on Monday. You know, da morning it was tirteen below wid 20 mph vinds? We vas yust standin dere, and next ting ya know, he yust up and takes his parka off, sits down on a snowbank and pretends to be rubbin on some suntan lotion.”

“Uff da!

“You betcha! Den, he looks at me an’ says, “Ya gotta be careful! Dis tropical sun’ll burn ya quick as hell!” Then he yust keeled over. Dey had to use d’ jaws a life to bust him free from vere he froze to d’ bank.”

“Hm. I thought he vas stronger’n dat. Say, vas he from aroun’ here?”

“Nah. He came from down sout…Rochester I tink.”

“Ah. Dat explains it. Dey ain’t used to d’ cold down dere.”

[sub]Note: Today was the first day in 114 days that the temperature reached 40 degrees.[/sub]

Also Minneapolis here…

Oh, that was soooo good Rysdad.

Spokane, Washington is on Ma Nature’s more passive-aggressive side. Not much threat of natural disasters. Weather’s okay. Hot summers, but not too bad. Cold winters, but tame by midwest standards. Nooooo, what we’ve got is two species of nastily venomous spiders: the Hobo spider and the Brown Recluse.

The Brown Recluse will just put some serious hurt on you.

The Hobo, on the other hand, can maim and disfigure you. Tissue around the bite goes necrotic, and the necrosis spreads. Not only can it require excision of the killed flesh (this can go to the bone), but can sometimes require limb amputation.

I HATE spiders, especially ones with nasty bites. Gimme an occasional earthquake any day.

Tokyo here. No snow, a few heavy rains, no tornadoes, but earthquakes, earthquakes, earthquakes!

Last summer, one of the little islands off the coast was having a window-rattling quake every 15 minutes for about a week.


Woo… I hear ya.

I’m from BC, Prince George to be exact, and let me say that aside fron the 6 months of winter, the weather here is rather benign. Nice warm, yet dry summers, and spring and fall are to die for. The first two months of winter are great until the realization sets in that you have another 4 months to get through yet. March is the worst though. The snow has stopped, and every thing is dirty and grey. Nothing is going to bloom until April or May, and knowing this, you cannot help but feel that March cannot pass quick enough…

I tell you, the first blossom I see, I’m going to streak naked through what’s left of the snow. :slight_smile:

Melbourne, Australia - four seasons in a day. Actually, bugger that - four seasons in an hour. It rains about 1/3 of the time in Winter (but there’s no snow), and it’s over 30[sup]0[/sup]C about 1/2 of the time in Summer. Sometimes we get bushfires on the outskirts of the state whe nit’s hot, but Melbourne itself has nice, moderate weather.

Or maybe scratch yourself to death from 6 months of having dry, itchy skin that an alligator would envy!

(Corvus, I think March 1 should be declared Official Sick of Winter Day. OTOH, after a long, cold winter, the first day that spring really, truly comes is a magic one - everybody not in the ICU ward is outside, just enjoying the feeling of warm air and sunshine again.)

New Jersey, right outside NYC. Right now we’re bracing for our second nor’easter of the winter. We get cold, snow, hurricans, heat, and that unique cold, wet rain at the beginning and end (and sometimes middle) of the winter. Of all the weather I’ve lived through, the cold, wet rain is the absolute worst. If you think “wet rain” is a redundancy, you’ve never lived here.

Springfield, Illinois (central part) here.

Miserably hot, humid, muggy, steamy, and sticky in the summer. Lots of people get sick from heat-related illnesses around here in the summer. We get daily highs in the upper 90’s with humidity in the upper 90% range.

The spring and summer months bring thunderstorms and the frequent tornado. Tornado deaths are rare but not unheard-of. Flash floods are frequent but short-lived.

The winter is five months of utter hell. Short days, icy winds, high temperatures that sometimes don’t crack zero. Ugh. We frequently get snow, which melts slightly under the sun, and then freezes when night comes, giving us a layer of ice on top of snow. Makes for fun driving.

We’re about a hundred miles from the upper reaches of the New Madrid fault. We get a documented mild earthquake (2.0 or so) about once a decade. But we’ve been made fully aware that the Big One is coming, any minute now.

Wildlife is pretty passive-aggressive around here. There’s always a deer waiting for you to wrap your car around him. There are a couple of breeds of venomous spiders and snakes indigenous to central Illinois, but I’ve never heard of a case of somebody getting sick or dying of a bite from one. I also hear that bobcats are making a comeback.