Flooding is the #1 most common type of natural disaster worldwide, accounting for almost 40% of natural disasters. In terms of fatalities, it is the leading cause of natural disaster deaths. 44% of all people killed worldwide due to natural disasters/weather are killed due to flooding. In 1931 alone, over 3.7 MILLION Chinese died in a series of flooding incidents.
It is the most costly natural disaster in terms of damage. In 1993, flooding caused an average of $2.4 billion dollars damage a year in the US. Between 2003 and 2013, insurance estimates on damage from flooding rose above $4 billion per year. Today those numbers are even higher!
There are three different types of flooding:
- Coastal Flood – typically occurs near oceans, is caused by storm surges and/or tidal waves. Waves can reach as high as 25 feet due to the strength of the storm
- River/bank Flood – occurs when rain or snowfall cause a river to swell past its banks and move inland. In flatter areas, the water could last for days. In mountainous areas, the water is faster but dissipates more quickly. This can also happen when the ground is over saturated and can no longer dissipate it quickly enough
- Flash Flood – a sudden excess of water, generally fast moving. This could be from a huge amount of rain upstream, a sudden release of water from an ice jam, or damage to a dam or levee.
When it comes to prepping, I see so many get caught up in TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) scenarios. It is a popular topic amongst the “prepared”. But I don’t see near the number of topics toward natural disasters. Why? We are FAR more likely to experience a tornado or hurricane than an EMP attack.
Being prepared for those should just as important if not more so.
With all of the natural disasters in the news lately, I thought I would take some time to give an overview of five natural disasters, ie what they are, and ways that you can be prepared for them.
Watch vs Warning
If you have ever watched the weather on your news channel, you may have heard mention of a “storm watch” or a “storm warning” and wondered what the difference was. So before we jump into the disasters, I wanted make you aware of what a “Watch” is versus a “Warning.”
A watch, be it for a tornado, hurricane, or flood, means that the weather conditions are favorable for that type of activity. It has not started yet, and it may not even start. But you should be prepared to take precautions should the situation warrant.
A warning means that the expected disaster is expected, imminent, or may have already begun. Precautions should be taken IMMEDIATELY!
A watch means it MIGHT happen. A warning means it WILL OR IS ALREADY happening. Also keep in mind that a disaster can go from a “watch” to a “warning” in the blink of an eye. The tornado that hit Moore in May 2013 went from a “watch” to the destruction of the city in less than 15 minutes. So stay alert and informed!