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Natural Disasters Poll

A natural disaster can occur anyplace on Earth. They can be local in scope or they can cover a vast area. Sometimes the aftermath only lasts for a few days, even for a severe disaster. Sometimes the effect can still be seen months, years, or decades after the event.

A natural disaster can be defined as any naturally-occurring destructive event. This can include but isn’t limited to tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones, earthquakes, floods, avalanches, mud slides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, blizzards, or wildfires from natural causes.

Some natural disasters result in more damage than others. However, hundreds of thousands or millions of people are impacted every year by natural disasters and it is incorrect to think of one natural disaster as being ‘worse’ than another. Every one of them is different than all others in one way or another.

What are your experiences and thoughts regarding natural disasters?

  • Question of

    Have you ever gone through a major natural disaster?

    • Yes, more than once
    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    If you have experienced a natural disaster, what was the nature of the natural disaster?

    • Earthquake
    • Hurricane/typhoon
    • Flood
    • Tornado
    • Other
    • More than one kind of disaster
  • Question of

    Have you ever volunteered to help with the rescue or cleanup after a natural disaster?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Not physically, but I’ve donated money or supplies
  • Question of

    Have you ever been without electrical power due to a natural disaster?

    • Yes, for a few hours
    • Yes, for days
    • No


What do you think?

Written by Rex Trulove


  1. I must be extremely unlucky –
    1. more than 8 tornadoes in my life.
    2. massive flooding (in Thailand)
    3. Earthquakes (Seattle, Virginia)
    4. Major forest fire

    Thanks for posting this Rex. It is an important piece.

    • I’d say that you are actually very fortunate. All of those things happened, yet you are still alive. You survived them all. To be fair, though, earthquakes in Seattle are commonplace.

        • Yes, but what glorious country you were able to see that you wouldn’t have if you’d just flown over it. The drive might have been a pain (I don’t like driving long distances), but the country that you passed through must have been amazing.

          • Funny, when you are delayed two days and trying to get home, it is more of a rush than an enjoyable experience. I got a few pictures and we stopped at a couple of interesting places. But in the end it was more a rush to get home.

        • I can understand that. It might have been different if you’d been able to plan for it. If it was a rush, though, why didn’t you fly out of Portland International or even Spokane? You would have still had to drive to them, but it would have been the difference of a few hours compared to a few days. Also, granted that if you’d gone to Spokane, you’d probably had needed to fly to Missoula and then from Missoula to your destination.

          • The day of the quake we were in a meeting. By the time we realized the airport would be closed for the next 5 days. we tried. The only airport we could have driven to was Vancouver, to Toronto, to Chicago. There were no available flights for two full days. So we drove.

        • They have actually been in different places. The hurricane was while I was living on the Oregon coast (and hurricanes are quite unusual there, though windstorms are common). The earthquakes have been in extreme southern Oregon and on the Oregon coast. The fires have been in southern Oregon, north-central Oregon, the Oregon coast, and Montana. The blizzard was at Crater Lake. The floods were at Crater Lake and southern Oregon (the Columbus Day Storms), north-central Oregon, and Montana. There’ve also been avalanches, mudslides, rock slides, a volcanic eruption (Mount St. Helens…I was living in North-central Oregon at the time and we got huge amounts of ash daily), and so forth, but we weren’t impacted enormously by these other natural disasters.

          If a person lives long enough, their chances of experiencing one or more natural disasters are very high.

          • You were in Oregon when St Helens erupted.. wow. I was here in San Diego, and we had ash daily, I couldnt image, it must of been inches daily up there. Thanks for sharing. You would be the type of person to be in a natural disaster with. You have so much knowledge and don’t seem to panic easily.

          • We’ve even had tornado warnings here in the Montana Rockies. When people think of tornadoes, they often think of the states in Tornado Alley, but they can happen virtually anywhere.

        • I forgot to mention that we had a near miss from a tornado that touched down in southern Oregon, about 15 miles from where we lived. They never did officially say that it was a tornado, but it had to have been. It went right down the main street of a little town, causing damage and removing roofs from one side of the street in one direction and in the other direction on the other side of the street. It went on to pull up a huge oak tree in town, then veered off to destroy several hundred acres of growing potatoes, leaving the fields bare, as if a giant had shaved it to the ground with an enormous razor. Many people reported seeing the funnel and the wind speed was easily high enough to be called a tornado, yet the weather service refused to acknowledge that the storm was a tornado. Again, though, I was 15 miles away, so it wasn’t even a close call.

          • Funny how they can say, “not confirmed”. We had a few in Arkansas like that. Oh and one here in San Diego, and it was actually confirmed. Although I have seen gusts leave more damage. My scariest tornado adventure was sitting in the house, overlooking the White River in Arkansas, and saw two twin funnels touch down on the other side. The river is a few hundred feet wide where we used to live. I started running downstairs, and heard the wind a few moments later, then the trees started to fall. Then the phone rings.. My neighbor on the bluff above me asked if I was okay. I said yes, and he said the split right at the resort, and one went north of us and one went south, just barely missing us. Close call.. I can still hear it..

        • Thank you for the compliment. I do get rattled, but it usually happens after the event is over.

          It is funny, the things you most remember about events. What I most remember about the Mount St. Helens eruption was that I had to hose off the car and driveway every day. THEN I’d was the car with some special soap that helped prevent the ash from scratching the finish. As fine as the ash was, it was exceptionally abrasive. A neighbor had to end up having his car re-painted because he washed it with regular soap, without rinsing it first. It only took once to destroy the paint and wax.

          My uncle drove a gas truck and I got the special soap from him. The company he worked for had to wash every one of their trucks, cabs and tankers, every day.

          We lived about 15 miles south of Salem and some days, the amount of ash was light. If the winds were from the northwest, though, we’d get a lot of ash. Still, we did get it every day. I suppose that I should write about it. lol

        • I agree that it would be neat to hear everyone’s story about natural disasters they’ve been through, Kim. I’m thinking that this would be a great topic when people can’t think of anything to write.