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Natural Disaster Definition

A natural disaster is a natural event that can cause great damage. For example, tornadoes and volcanoes.

View Lesson on Predicting Natural Disasters
Grades 6-8 VideoPredicting Natural Disasters player orange
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Predicting Natural Disasters

Fun Facts

  • Wildfires are unpredictable natural disasters that are usually the result of drought and lightning strikes.
  • Tornadoes are most common in the central United States in an area known as "tornado alley," reaching wind speeds over 100 miles per hour.
  • The biggest tsunami wave ever recorded was 100 feet high.

Why Do We Need To Know About Natural Disaster

Learning about natural disasters helps you see how important engineers, scientists, and emergency managers are for keeping people safe and ready for disasters. Engineers create new ways to warn us about disasters and make buildings safer. Scientists, like those who study volcanoes and weather, help predict when and where disasters will happen to save lives and homes.

When we study natural disasters, we learn why it’s important to be prepared and understand the dangers of living in certain areas, especially where the earth’s plates meet. Jobs in these areas are not only about keeping people safe but also about finding new ways to lessen the damage from disasters that are bound to happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can humans reduce the impact of natural disasters?
Humans can reduce the impact of natural disasters by analyzing scientific data to make predictions about future events and also by improving engineering design to make buildings and structures that are more likely to withstand damage in earthquake activity.
What makes predicting tornadoes different from predicting hurricanes?
Tornadoes are predicted by meteorologists analyzing atmospheric conditions like wind speed and air pressure. Hurricanes are predicted by satellite imaging that detects rotating air masses over warm, tropical, and subtropical waters.
Where are earthquakes predicted to most likely to occur?
Earthquakes occur most commonly along plate boundaries. When plates rub against or compress on one another, rock breaks beneath the surface of Earth, releasing energy and causing the Earth's crust to move and shake.
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