A Little Ray of Sunshine

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Expected disasters

I've been looking over some of the homework I did from the Captain Dave site (www.captaindaves.com). A lot of the potential disasters he lists just don't seem very . . . disastery to me. Severe thunderstorm. Hail. Flooding/Flash flooding. Extreme high heat. Drought. High winds. Severe winter weather.
Perhaps it's because they're common around here. I can remember two seperate winters as a child when we lost electricity for twelve hours or more. The underpass floods every spring, and whenever there are heavy rains. The creek in my parents' backyard floods frequently, too. And it's been a drought for as long as I can remember. I even remember asking my dad once "How long does it have to be a drought before they decide this is normal and the previous years were abnormally wet?" (The weather records in this area are perhaps a century at best.)
Thinking about it, well, yeah, if you weren't used to all these things, perhaps it could be a disaster. If you paniced when the electrical lines went down and it was twenty below out, yes, you could create yourself a nice mess. If you didn't know it was stupid to drive through water on the road, yeah, you could get yourself into trouble.
And I have to remind myself that there are places where people don't irrigate crops. I lived in one when I was at college. It still just seems wrong, in some fundemental way, not to water crops.
The things that seem more like proper disasters from Captain Dave's list would be tornados, wildfires, earthquakes (at a distance, the 'nearby' fault line is the Wasatch Front), volcanos (fortunately, the historical erruptions were rare and slow), train wrecks with release of toxins/nuclear products, some sort of nuclear/atomic-involving disaster at the INEEL, fire, plague or biowar, or regular old nukes.

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