Tips To Protect Yourself And Your Home From A Wildfire

What To Do In The Case Of A Wildfire

What To Do In The Case Of A Wildfire

With 2020 bringing some of the worst wildfires on record, ravaged land, homes, and lives all the way from Australia to California, its more important than ever to be prepared if you live in a hot area where these things occur. But just what can you do if you are faced with an uncontrollable wildfire on your doorstep?

Human Lives Come First

The lives of yourself, your family, and your friends (and animals)must come first in the event of a wildfire. While losing your home and all your possessions is devastating, these things can eventually be replaced. If you see a fire, make sure it has been reported and ensure you listen to the instruction of emergency officials. They know what they are doing and won’t advise you to evacuate if you don’t need to. Follow what they say and don’t try to be a hero. You could just end up getting in the way and cause more harm than good.

Protect Your Home

If you have time when evacuating, there are a few things that you can do to protect your home. Turn off all gas and propane at the meter and make sure all pilot lights are switched off. Next, turn on all the interior and exterior lights in your house. This will make your home easier to spot in the heavy smoke caused by wildfires. Remove wooden furniture and combustible trash, and doormats away from the doors and windows.

You can also remove any kindling, firewood, pine needles, or dead leaves around the house if you have the time. Finally, wet down your house using lawn sprinkles and hoses. The roof and any vegetation within 15 feet of your home should be wet down but don’t leave these running as you can affect the area’s water pressure.

Before you leave, also make it easy for firefighters to get in. Leave doors and gates unlatched. Connect your garden hoses to your outside taps and leave buckets of water lying around for firefighters to use. You can also put any ladders you have outside in case firefighters need to use them to get onto your roof.

Don’t Start A Wildfire

While this may seem obvious, if you live in an area prone to wildfires, make sure you don’t inadvertently cause one yourself. Humans are the main cause of wildfires and while arson is occasionally the cause of devastating fires, accidents are just as common.

Cigarettes that are poorly disposed of by simply being tossed on the ground or out of a car window, can quickly cause fires. These partially lit buds can cause serious damage. Cigarettes should always be properly extinguished before disposable before being thrown away in a sealed container. Unattended campfires can also have disastrous consequences, so don’t leave them alone to play online.

Campfires or even fire pits near or in among the trees always need to be unattended to and extinguished properly at the end of an evening. Fireworks and flares also should never be handled by amateurs as they can lead to injury and of course, fires.

The World’s Worst Earthquakes Of 2020

The Worst Earthquakes of 2020

The Worst Earthquakes of 2020

Natural disasters seem to be part and parcel of 2020, making it the worst year on record for many. Earthquakes stretched the far reaches of the world this year, all the way from China to bucket list destinations like the Caribbean, and Iran, Russia, Philippines, India, and Turkey. In 2020, 45 earthquakes with over 6 magnitudes were recorded. Here are some of the worst:

January Earthquake in Turkey

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake that hit Turkey on the 24th of January is responsible for claiming the lives of 41 people and injuring over 1,600 others. The country’s eastern provinces of Elazig and Malatya provinces were the hardest hit with thousands of residents displaced from their homes, although the earthquake was also felt in the neighboring countries of Armenia, Syria, and Iran. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only earthquake to hit the region in 2020, with it lying on the active North Anatolian Fault, between the Anatolian and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Earthquake and Tsunami Together

On the 30th of October 2020, Turkey was again struck by another earthquake, this time in the Izmir province. The magnitude 7 earthquake also hit the Greek island of Samos, resulting in a tsunami that brought with it further destruction. In total 119 lives were lost in the natural disaster, some 1,034 were injured, many buildings were damaged or collapsed, and rescue efforts were extensive.

The earthquake was the deadliest of the year and the most powerful recorded in the Aegean Sea since 1981. Prior to this, the deadliest earthquake in Turkey’s Izmir province occurred in 1955 with a 6.6 magnitude quake that claimed the lives of four people.  

Earthquake at Russia's Kuril Islands

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Russia’s Kuril Islands on the 25th of March 2020. A volcanic archipelago, the Kuril Islands stretch approximately 1,300 km northeast of Hokkaido and contain some 56 islands. While the earthquake generated Tsunami warnings and a possible threat to Japan, but thankfully no casualties were reported.

Alaska Peninsula Earthquake

On the 21st of July, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck undersea, some 65 miles off the coast of Alaska. Although this was the strongest earthquake recorded in 2020 by magnitude, it caused severe damages. It did however prompt the evacuation of several coastal areas as a preventative measure in the case of a tsunami. The fact that there wasn’t one was as lucky as the players that check this site.  

Mexico’s Oaxaca earthquake

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck the Mexican state of Oaxaca on the 23rd of June 2020. The quake, whose epicenter was recorded near San Miguel del Puerto, was felt by close to 50 million people in both Mexico and Guatemala. Thousands of homes were damaged as a result of the earthquake, and 10 deaths were recorded.  

Iran Earthquake

On the 23rd of February, an earthquake near Khoy in north-west Iran was recorded at a magnitude of 5.8. The earthquake, whose epicenter was Qotur district, took the lives of 9 people in Ba┼čkale in the Van province of neighboring Turkey. Just as the area as recovering, a magnitude 6 earthquake hit the same place about 10 hours after the first.

The Most Devastating Fires Of 2020

Map of The World's Worst Fires of 2020

The World's Worst Fires of 2020

Strange Weather And Natural Disasters Of 2020

The Weirdest Natural Disasters of 2020

The Weirdest Natural Disasters of 2020

2020 was one of the most devastating on record, not just because of the pandemic but also because of the wide range of natural disasters that shook the world. These included devastating bush fires in Australia and California, one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons in history, and several volcanoes, flash floods, and earthquakes. There was also a fair share of weird and wonderful occurrences. Let’s look at some of the weirdest natural disasters of 2020:

The Snow Goes Green In Antarctica

Parts of snow-covered Antarctica turned green this year in a response to climate change. Warmer temperatures and melting snow resulted in blooms of algae which resulted in massive green patches forming across the winter wonderland. These algal blooms expanded at such a high rate and became so prolific that they were even visible from space.

green snow Antarctica

green snow Antarctica

Locusts Swam Africa and Asia

Locust swarms are not just something that happened in Biblical days. 2020 saw millions of desert locusts swam over India and East Africa. Making their way from East Africa, through Pakistan and onto the Indian states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the locusts caused severe damage to crops. Although not a direct threat to humans, locusts are some of the most destructive creatures in the world, capable of devouring large sections of crops and grasses.

The swarms were one of the worst pest attacks in over two decades and caused destruction in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, South Sudan, and Yemen. Somalia called a state of national emergency in the wake of the infestation with food security under serious threat. Again, this natural disaster has been attributed to climate change and an increase in temperatures and unusually heavy rains which have made the locusts breed and swarm in numbers. If you’re looking for better news, register here.

A Bomb Cyclone In Canada

While Atlantic Canada is known for some hectic storms, Newfoundland was hit by a record-setting bomb cyclone on the 17th of January 2020. The cyclone brought with it the highest daily snowfall on record, covering St John’s in 30 inches of snow.

Bomb cyclones are storms that intensify very quickly, generally causing massive wind spirals at their base. This was the case in Canada where winds of 97 mph caused snowdrifts to form, some reaching 15 feet high. Vehicles, roads, and homes were buried in snow and a small avalanche even caused devastation in one resident’s home.

Midwest US Experiences Sahara Sandstorm

Africa’s Sahara Desert is no stranger to sandstorms and every sorry often plumes of air, laden with sand travel across the ocean during hurricane season. These sandstorms have even been known to reach the Caribbean and the Gulf Coast in the summer months. However, in June of 2020 a particularly dense dust plume made its way over to Puerto Rico, and even reached as far as parts of Midwest, United States, causing hazy skies over parts of Nebraska. This was one of the most magnificent Sahara dust events recorded in decades.

The World’s Worst Storms Of 2020

World Hurricanes Map

The Most Dangerous Storms of 2020

2020 was a horrific year for many with death and disease some of the most talked-about subjects this year. However, for many, the weather also presented itself in the extreme in 2020, causing absolute havoc to land, livestock, livelihoods, and lives, with severe storms that all but destroyed. Let’s look back at some of the worst storms to hit the world in 2020.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Hurricane Season was no doubt one of the worst on record. 2020 marked the only second time in history that the entire alphabetical list of hurricane names was used up. This meant that the Greek alphabet needed to be used to name future storms from as early as the 18th of September. 2020 heralded 30 named storms, which are storms that reached 39 to 73 miles per hour, 13 hurricanes, and six major hurricanes.

Atlantic Hurricanes Map 2020

Canada was largely unaffected, but Florida was one of the hardest-hit areas in the United States, with the record-breaking Tropical Storm Eta being the 12th storm to hit the United States in a single season. Before 2020, 1916 saw the most storms of one season, with nine recorded. Louisiana however recorded the most ever storms in one season in a single state, with five in 2020. Hurricane Laura, which hit southwest Louisiana on the 27th of August as a category 4 storm was the most damaging and strongest of the US storms.

September was the worst month with 10 named storms recorded in this month alone. In fact, three storms, namely Wilfred, Alpha and Beta, all formed on the same day on the 18th of September. 2020 also brought on a category 5 Hurricane in November with Hurricane Iota.

Hurricane’s Eta and Iota

It wasn’t just the United States that experienced the devastation of 2020’s hurricanes. Hurricane Eta made landfall in November in Nicaragua bringing with it large amounts of rainfall for an extended period. This caused massive flooding in large parts of Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama resulting in the loss of 215 people with another 49 missing.

Just two weeks after the devastating effects of Hurricane Eta, Hurricane Iota arrived. The storm made landfall just 15 miles from Eta’s location in a completely unprecedented event, again bringing with it torrential rains. Combined tolls from the two hurricanes left more than 300 dead or missing and an impact of around $738 million on the country. In Honduras, damages from the hurricanes exceeded $10 billion, which is a sizeable sum even by the standard of mega casino bonuses. $10 billion  is around 40% of the country’s GDP. This set the poverty-stricken nation back about 22 years in economic development.

Typhoon Vamco

Across the world in the Philippines, Typhoon Vamco caused devastation in Manila on the 13th of November. The typhoon was the 21st to hit the country in 2020 and no doubt the deadliest, killing over 40 people. It also resulted in some of the worst flooding the country has ever seen. Unfortunately, Vamco was subsequently followed by Typhoon Goni, the strongest Typhoon of the year which only compounded the damage already caused. 

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