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Experts can recognize the conditions that lead to avalanches by studying terrain, snow and weather in an area; they can predict tornadoes and hurricanes 12 to 24 hours in advance. The problem is, many developing countries do not have an early warning system in place, and many people do not know the signs that a natural disaster is about to occur. Avalanche By definition, an avalanche is a mass of snow that slides down a mountain slope. Most avalanches result from weather conditions that cause snow on a mountain slope to be come unstable. Heavy winds, explosions, skiers and earth tremors may cause avalanches. There are four main factors involved in the event of an avalanche (1) a steep slope (normally between 25 and 50 degrees), (2) a snow cover, (3) a week layer in the snow cover, and (4) a trigger. See appendix 1. Experts have many ways of reducing the amount of avalanches that occur, for example, planting trees and using explosives to decrease the amount of snow. But enviably, every year, so many avalanches occur that it is very difficult to make statistics, and many avalanches are not even recorded; on average 200 people are killed per year. Preparation, recognizing avalanche terrain, being able to asses snow stability and search and rescue techniques are key in reducing the amount of fatalities, and increasing safety when back country skiing, snowboarding or climbing. When back country skiing, it is vital to have a transceiver and a shovel. Because of the amount of fatalities avalanches cause, many countries have developed an early warning system, in which experts issue a color from green (low) to deep red (extreme). See appendix 2. In 2003, seven Calgary-area teenagers who were on a school-sponsored trip to Revelstoke, British Columbia were killed in an avalanche. That fateful day, the avalanche rating was considerable (or amber). Tsunami A tsunami is a towering ocean wave produced by an undersea earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption. There is no way of reducing the amount of tsunami's that occur, because it is a natural occurrence. As a tsunami draws near a coastline, it can form a deadly wall of water that can ascend to more than 100 feet (30 meters) high. The speed of the tsunami depends on the depth of the water; in the middle of the ocean it can move up to 1000 kilometers per hour and as the tsunami moves closer to the shore the speed drops to about 160 kilometers per hour. If an earthquake occurs in or around the Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) issues a tsunami warning to the islands. The warning will be issued by the civil defense sirens and announced over the radio. However, many developing countries have no tsunami early warning system in place, which can cause many fatalities. In addition, many people do not know the early warning signs that a tsunami is about to occur. For example, if the water disappears and you see the ocean floor and fish, or you see a gigantic wave coming at the island, a tsunami is going to occur. On December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. This was the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. The earthquake created tsunami's that swept across the Indian Ocean within hours. Over 120,000 people lost their lives in this disaster, and in the aftermath. In addition to the fatalities, much of the islands are in ruins, and the survivors are trying to salvage what is left. It is horrifying that they the experts knew about this tsunami four hours before it hit the shores of Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and Africa. The lack of an early warning system in these countries has resulted in many deaths. However, the government promises to have a system in place by next year. It's sad that it takes a natural disaster of this magnitude to put an early warning system in place. This disaster could have been avoided, and the death toll would have been considerably lower if these countries had an effective early warning system in place. Hurricane A hurricane is a powerful swirling storm that begins over a warm sea. Hurricanes form in waters near the equator and move toward the poles. When a hurricane hits land, it can cause great damage with violent winds, flooding, wild rain and huge waves onshore. Hurricane damage results from wind and water. Hurricane winds have been known to rip the roofs off houses and uproot trees. The heavy rain can cause mudslides and floods. But the most dangerous result of a hurricane is a fast rise in sea level called a storm surge. A storm surge is formed when winds blow ocean waters onshore. They are very dangerous because most coastal areas are heavily populated and are only a few meters above sea level. Meteorologists use weather balloons, satellites and radar to watch for falling pressure that may soon become a hurricane. If all conditions are right for a hurricane, the National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch, which advises an area that there is a great chance of a hurricane within 36 hours. If a hurricane warning is issued, it means that an area is in danger of a hurricane in 24 hours or less. Hurricane experts rate the force of a hurricane on a scale called the Saffir-Simpson scale. The scale appoints five levels of hurricanes, ranging from Level 1, weak, to level 5, devastating. In 1970, in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), a cyclone killed about 266,000 people. This was before they had a hurricane (cyclone) early warning system. Today we know this hurricane to be ranked a level five on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Many famous hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones have occurred in the last 100 years. See appendix 3. Fire Most of the time, wildfires are started as a result of human vices. People sometimes throw cigarette butts out the window or leave a campfire smoking without realizing the devastation it may cause. Lightning sometimes starts wildfires, but in each case, severe damage is a result. Wildfires spread fast and unpredictably. The only way to prevent wildfires is to make sure a campfire is completely out before you leave it unattended, or not to throw a lit cigarette onto dry grass. Only you can prevent forest fires, so you must be careful. Volcano A Volcano is a vent in the earth through which hot gases and molten rock rise to the surface. There are about 2,500 known active volcanoes in the world. Almost all of them are located in chains stretching across the earth. Geologists believe that this distribution is related to a theory of the development of the earth's surface called plate tectonics, which states that the surface of the earth is divided into plates, which are moving relative to one another. Where two plates are moving away from each other, material from beneath rises to fill the space that is now empty. Another cause of volcanoes is when two plates move together, one plate melts as it descends underneath the other ("the ring of fire") See appendix 4. There are many different types of volcanic eruptions, from violent explosive eruptions to slow bubbling eruptions. In all cases the results can be devastating. However, volcanic eruptions can be predicted a few ways, enabling people to get out of the line of fire. The first method is to study the geographic area where the volcano is; in many cases volcanoes may produce small earthquakes before an eruption. Experts may also study the temperature of a volcano to find warnings of an oncoming eruption. Nonetheless, there is still very little man can do to prevent an eruption. In some cases, walls have been built to slow the flow of lava and therefore lessen the damage caused by it, and in other cases streams of water have been used to cool the lava before it can do very much damage. Earthquake An earthquake is the shaking of the ground caused by a sudden dislocation of material in the earth's outer layer or crust. Some earthquakes are so small that they are barely felt, while others are so violent that they cause a large amount of damage. They are caused by stresses below the earth's crust, which usually build up until the rocks fracture on a fault line. The intensity of an earthquake depends on how close or how far it is from the epicenter (the point on a fault when an earthquake starts). There are two major scales on which the intensity of an earthquake is ranked. The Mercalli Scale and the Richter Scale. See appendix 5. Large earthquakes have aftershocks (other earthquakes at close locations); in some cases the aftershock may be more devastating than the original shock. But you can protect yourself if you are in an earthquake, the first and most important thing to do is to drop and get under something for protection from falling objects. If you are outside, stay away from buildings, stay away from glass or anything that could fall and always remain calm. Many things can result from earthquakes, for example, floods tsunamis, and they can also trigger landslides. One famous earthquake occurred in 1906, measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale, hit the city of San Francisco, California and had many devastating results. The earthquake caused many underground gas pipes to break, and as a result, many fires broke out in the city, and the underground water pipes broke so the firemen had no way of putting out those fires. Nearly three thousand people were killed in this horrific earthquake and its aftermath. Flood A flood is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. A flood can be very devastating to many people. It will put water into houses, basements, it can cover roads and flood croplands and make it nearly impossible to grow anything. If there is an abundance of precipitation during the year, there is a great chance that a flood may occur. For example, if there is a lot of snow in the winter, by spring, there may be a flood. In this case, it may be easy to predict when and where a flood is going to occur, and it will be easy to prepare for the flood. The most widely used prevention strategy is to sand bag. When you sand bag, you place bags full of sand around your house and make a dike. This dike has to be at least six or seven feet tall, so it can prevent the floodwaters from entering your house. As you can perceive, not only is this is a very time consuming job, it also takes a lot of people to build up these dikes. A flash flood is the fastest moving type of flood. In a flash flood, the waters will rise very quickly, usually as a result of another natural disaster, for example, a hurricane. A flash flood can also take place when heavy rain collects into a stream or river, changing the normally slow moving current into a fast rushing current. In any case, it may be very hard to determine when and where a flood is going to occur. In this case, there is not much you can do to protect your house or yourself. The most important thing to do in case you are caught in a flash flood is to get to a high dry place and keep yourself safe. The United States issues a severe weather warning or a severe weather watch when a flood is going to occur. This is usually when there is a large amount of rainfall and the long and short term forecasts say that there is very little chance that the rain is going to let up. These warnings are usually posted at the bottom of the local television channels and on the emergency radio stations. In 1997, there was a widespread flood that went across Manitoba, Canada, North Dakota and Minnesota. This flooded the Red River and the Mississippi river. This flood resulted in millions of dollars worth of damage. See appendix 6. The reason that this flood occurred is because the winter of 1996-1997 was one of the worst winters in North American history, with no less than eight blizzards. And the only reason the city of Winnipeg was not completely destroyed is because in the 1950's they built the flood-way. The flood-way is a man made river that enabled the Red River, and the Assiniboine River to have an excess of water that would run into the flood-way, instead of flooding the city of Winnipeg. As you can see, there are many different kinds of natural disasters, these are only a few, and there are many different ways to detect when and where they will take place. There are also many different famous natural disasters that have happened, and have killed thousands of people. In my opinion, nobody will install a natural disaster early warning system until a natural disaster kills so many people that it is forced to, but they will put in a homeland security early warning system. When people should be worried about the forces of nature, they are more worried about people killing other people. In actuality, more people are killed each year as a result of natural disasters than by terrorists. Every year funds to predict avalanches or earthquakes are cut, and each year funds to predict terrorist attacks are raised. This is saying very little about western civilization, and its beliefs. Many developing countries are in need of a standard early warning system to protect themselves from natural disasters, because right now, many of them have none whatsoever in place. The natural disaster early warning systems that we have installed right now are not completely useless, but they are lacking, so until a widespread natural disaster early warning system is installed, you must rely on your own knowledge and instinct to protect yourself. When you think about it, many of the famous natural disasters in this report could have easily been prevented if a truly effective early warning system had been in place.
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An essay on how Early Warning Systems Can Lessen Casualties During Natural Disasters
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An Essay On How Early Warning Systems Can Lessen Casualties During Natural Disasters

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              Experts can recognize the conditions that lead to avalanches by studying terrain, snow and weather in an area; they can predict tornadoes and hurricanes 12 to 24 hours in advance. The problem is, many developing countries do not have an early warning system in place, and many people do not know the signs that a natural disaster is about to occur.
             
             
              Avalanche
             
              By definition, an avalanche is a mass of snow that slides down a mountain slope. Most avalanches result from weather conditions that cause snow on a mountain slope to be come unstable. Heavy winds, explosions, skiers and earth tremors may cause avalanches. There are four main factors involved in the event of an avalanche (1) a steep slope (normally between 25 and 50 degrees), (2) a snow cover, (3) a week layer in the snow cover, and (4) a trigger. See appendix 1.
             
              Experts have many ways of reducing the amount of avalanches that occur, for example, planting trees and using explosives to decrease the amount of snow. But enviably, every year, so many avalanches occur that it is very difficult to make statistics, and many avalanches are not even recorded; on average 200 people are killed per year.
             
              Preparation, recognizing avalanche terrain, being able to asses snow stability and search and rescue techniques are key in reducing the amount of fatalities, and increasing safety when back country skiing, snowboarding or climbing. When back country skiing, it is vital to have a transceiver and a shovel.
             
              Because of the amount of fatalities avalanches cause, many countries have developed an early warning system, in which experts issue a color from green (low) to deep red (extreme). See appendix 2.
             
              In 2003, seven Calgary-area teenagers who were on a school-sponsored trip to Revelstoke, British Columbia were killed in an avalanche. That fateful day, the avalanche rating was considerable (or amber).
             
              Tsunami
             
              A tsunami is a towering ocean wave produced by an undersea earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption. There is no way of reducing the amount of tsunami's that occur, because it is a natural occurrence. As a tsunami draws near a coastline, it can form a deadly wall of water that can ascend to more than 100 feet (30 meters) high.
             
              The speed of the tsunami depends on the depth of the water; in the middle of the ocean it can move up to 1000 kilometers per hour and as the tsunami moves closer to the shore the speed drops to about 160 kilometers per hour.
             
              If an earthquake occurs in or around the Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) issues a tsunami warning to the islands. The warning will be issued by the civil defense sirens and announced over the radio.
             
              However, many developing countries have no tsunami early warning system in place, which can cause many fatalities. In addition, many people do not know the early warning signs that a tsunami is about to occur. For example, if the water disappears and you see the ocean floor and fish, or you see a gigantic wave coming at the island, a tsunami is going to occur.
             
              On December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9. 0 earthquake occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. This was the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. The earthquake created tsunami's that swept across the Indian Ocean within hours. Over 120,000 people lost their lives in this disaster, and in the aftermath. In addition to the fatalities, much of the islands are in ruins, and the survivors are trying to salvage what is left. It is horrifying that they the experts knew about this tsunami four hours before it hit the shores of Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and Africa. The lack of an early warning system in these countries has resulted in many deaths. However, the government promises to have a system in place by next year. It's sad that it takes a natural disaster of this magnitude to put an early warning system in place. This disaster could have been avoided, and the death toll would have been considerably lower if these countries had an effective early warning system in place.
             
              Hurricane
             
              A hurricane is a powerful swirling storm that begins over a warm sea. Hurricanes form in waters near the equator and move toward the poles. When a hurricane hits land, it can cause great damage with violent winds, flooding, wild rain and huge waves onshore.
             
              Hurricane damage results from wind and water. Hurricane winds have been known to rip the roofs off houses and uproot trees. The heavy rain can cause mudslides and floods. But the most dangerous result of a hurricane is a fast rise in sea level called a storm surge. A storm surge is formed when winds blow ocean waters onshore. They are very dangerous because most coastal areas are heavily populated and are only a few meters above sea level.
             
              Meteorologists use weather balloons, satellites and radar to watch for falling pressure that may soon become a hurricane. If all conditions are right for a hurricane, the National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch, which advises an area that there is a great chance of a hurricane within 36 hours. If a hurricane warning is issued, it means that an area is in danger of a hurricane in 24 hours or less.
             
              Hurricane experts rate the force of a hurricane on a scale called the Saffir-Simpson scale. The scale appoints five levels of hurricanes, ranging from Level 1, weak, to level 5, devastating.
             
              In 1970, in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), a cyclone killed about 266,000 people. This was before they had a hurricane (cyclone) early warning system. Today we know this hurricane to be ranked a level five on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
             
              Many famous hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones have occurred in the last 100 years. See appendix 3.
             
              Fire
             
              Most of the time, wildfires are started as a result of human vices. People sometimes throw cigarette butts out the window or leave a campfire smoking without realizing the devastation it may cause. Lightning sometimes starts wildfires, but in each case, severe damage is a result. Wildfires spread fast and unpredictably. The only way to prevent wildfires is to make sure a campfire is completely out before you leave it unattended, or not to throw a lit cigarette onto dry grass. Only you can prevent forest fires, so you must be careful.
             
              Volcano
             
              A Volcano is a vent in the earth through which hot gases and molten rock rise to the surface. There are about 2,500 known active volcanoes in the world. Almost all of them are located in chains stretching across the earth. Geologists believe that this distribution is related to a theory of the development of the earth's surface called plate tectonics, which states that the surface of the earth is divided into plates, which are moving relative to one another. Where two plates are moving away from each other, material from beneath rises to fill the space that is now empty. Another cause of volcanoes is when two plates move together, one plate melts as it descends underneath the other ("the ring of fire") See appendix 4.
             
              There are many different types of volcanic eruptions, from violent explosive eruptions to slow bubbling eruptions. In all cases the results can be devastating. However, volcanic eruptions can be predicted a few ways, enabling people to get out of the line of fire. The first method is to study the geographic area where the volcano is; in many cases volcanoes may produce small earthquakes before an eruption. Experts may also study the temperature of a volcano to find warnings of an oncoming eruption. Nonetheless, there is still very little man can do to prevent an eruption. In some cases, walls have been built to slow the flow of lava and therefore lessen the damage caused by it, and in other cases streams of water have been used to cool the lava before it can do very much damage.
             
              Earthquake
             
              An earthquake is the shaking of the ground caused by a sudden dislocation of material in the earth's outer layer or crust. Some earthquakes are so small that they are barely felt, while others are so violent that they cause a large amount of damage. They are caused by stresses below the earth's crust, which usually build up until the rocks fracture on a fault line.
             
              The intensity of an earthquake depends on how close or how far it is from the epicenter (the point on a fault when an earthquake starts). There are two major scales on which the intensity of an earthquake is ranked. The Mercalli Scale and the Richter Scale. See appendix 5.
             
              Large earthquakes have aftershocks (other earthquakes at close locations); in some cases the aftershock may be more devastating than the original shock. But you can protect yourself if you are in an earthquake, the first and most important thing to do is to drop and get under something for protection from falling objects. If you are outside, stay away from buildings, stay away from glass or anything that could fall and always remain calm.
             
              Many things can result from earthquakes, for example, floods tsunamis, and they can also trigger landslides. One famous earthquake occurred in 1906, measuring 7. 7 on the Richter scale, hit the city of San Francisco, California and had many devastating results. The earthquake caused many underground gas pipes to break, and as a result, many fires broke out in the city, and the underground water pipes broke so the firemen had no way of putting out those fires. Nearly three thousand people were killed in this horrific earthquake and its aftermath.
             
              Flood
             
              A flood is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. A flood can be very devastating to many people. It will put water into houses, basements, it can cover roads and flood croplands and make it nearly impossible to grow anything.
             
              If there is an abundance of precipitation during the year, there is a great chance that a flood may occur. For example, if there is a lot of snow in the winter, by spring, there may be a flood. In this case, it may be easy to predict when and where a flood is going to occur, and it will be easy to prepare for the flood.
             
              The most widely used prevention strategy is to sand bag. When you sand bag, you place bags full of sand around your house and make a dike. This dike has to be at least six or seven feet tall, so it can prevent the floodwaters from entering your house. As you can perceive, not only is this is a very time consuming job, it also takes a lot of people to build up these dikes.
             
              A flash flood is the fastest moving type of flood. In a flash flood, the waters will rise very quickly, usually as a result of another natural disaster, for example, a hurricane. A flash flood can also take place when heavy rain collects into a stream or river, changing the normally slow moving current into a fast rushing current. In any case, it may be very hard to determine when and where a flood is going to occur. In this case, there is not much you can do to protect your house or yourself. The most important thing to do in case you are caught in a flash flood is to get to a high dry place and keep yourself safe.
             
              The United States issues a severe weather warning or a severe weather watch when a flood is going to occur. This is usually when there is a large amount of rainfall and the long and short term forecasts say that there is very little chance that the rain is going to let up. These warnings are usually posted at the bottom of the local television channels and on the emergency radio stations.
             
              In 1997, there was a widespread flood that went across Manitoba, Canada, North Dakota and Minnesota. This flooded the Red River and the Mississippi river. This flood resulted in millions of dollars worth of damage. See appendix 6. The reason that this flood occurred is because the winter of 1996-1997 was one of the worst winters in North American history, with no less than eight blizzards. And the only reason the city of Winnipeg was not completely destroyed is because in the 1950's they built the flood-way. The flood-way is a man made river that enabled the Red River, and the Assiniboine River to have an excess of water that would run into the flood-way, instead of flooding the city of Winnipeg.
             
              As you can see, there are many different kinds of natural disasters, these are only a few, and there are many different ways to detect when and where they will take place. There are also many different famous natural disasters that have happened, and have killed thousands of people. In my opinion, nobody will install a natural disaster early warning system until a natural disaster kills so many people that it is forced to, but they will put in a homeland security early warning system. When people should be worried about the forces of nature, they are more worried about people killing other people. In actuality, more people are killed each year as a result of natural disasters than by terrorists. Every year funds to predict avalanches or earthquakes are cut, and each year funds to predict terrorist attacks are raised. This is saying very little about western civilization, and its beliefs. Many developing countries are in need of a standard early warning system to protect themselves from natural disasters, because right now, many of them have none whatsoever in place. The natural disaster early warning systems that we have installed right now are not completely useless, but they are lacking, so until a widespread natural disaster early warning system is installed, you must rely on your own knowledge and instinct to protect yourself. When you think about it, many of the famous natural disasters in this report could have easily been prevented if a truly effective early warning system had been in place.
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