1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.
Galveston TX Hurricanes
Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years Average Direct hit every 8.63 years
The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000
The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph 42 people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage
Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.
Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars
Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history
Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong
On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded. Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.
Floods disasters are among the world’s most frequent and damaging forms of disaster impacting neighborhoods, communities, or affecting entire river basins in large geographical areas.
Floods are responsible for the destruction of entire cities when artificial barriers or levees are breached (e. g. New Orleans during Katrina) or dams break producing the same effects of flash floods, also for the destruction of valued agricultural land and the disruption of industry and commerce. Population growth and social, economic and political processes have increased society’s exposure and vulnerability to this hazard.
Floods may develop slowly, or over a period of days and can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain. Flash floods are characterized by a dangerous destructive wall of roaring water that carries rocks, mud, and other debris and can sweep away most anything in its path.
Flooding can occur outside a defined river or stream exposing unsuspected populations that live in low-lying areas near small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or downstream from a dam. Even very or low-lying ground that appears harmless in dry weather can flood.
There are steps you can - and should - take now to prepare for the next flood. First, you should be fully aware of your flood risk and work with your community on what you and your neighbors can do to lessen losses from flooding.
In your home, you can take simple steps to protect property and more involved measures to lessen the impact on the structure.
The following advice/information can be obtained from FEMA website at:
Before a Flood
To prepare for a flood, you should:
• Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
• Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
• Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
• Construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the building.
• Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
• Listen to the radio or television for information.
• Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
• Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
• Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
• Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
Driving Flood Facts
The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
• A foot of water will float many vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
After a Flood
The following are guidelines for the period following a flood:
• Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
• Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
• Avoid moving water.
• Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
• Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
• Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
• Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
• Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
• Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
• Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
Consider the following facts:
• Flood losses are not covered under homeowners’ insurance policies.
• FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes federally-backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage.
• Flood insurance is available in most communities through insurance agents.
• There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect, so don't delay.
• Flood insurance is available whether the building is in or out of the identified flood-prone area.
Additional flood information can be found at: