Thursday, April 12 2012 4:09 PM EDT2012-04-12 20:09:27 GMT
Students at the University of Alabama hunkered down as a massive, mile-wide tornado came within a mile of the campus that houses thousands of people. It became the site of terror many of them had never experienced before.More >>
The spring of 2011 is shaping up to be a record-breaking season for weather fatalities. At 45, the number of people who have died from April storms now matches the total number of weather fatalities in 2010.More >>
Experts say climate changes and global warming are to blame for the extreme weather that has pummeled the U.S. in 2011.
"Any single weather event is driven by a number of factors, from local conditions to global climate patterns and trends. Climate change is one of these. It is very likely that large-scale changes in climate, such as increased moisture in the atmosphere and warming temperatures, have influenced, and will continue to influence, many different types of extreme events, such as heavy rainfall, flooding, heat waves and droughts," Thomas Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center said.
According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, in the first six months of 2011 the U.S. experienced record-breaking floods and snowstorms, prolonged drought, and massive wildfires.
"The extreme weather that the U.S. has experienced in 2011 should cause all Americans, and especially our elected leaders, to think long and hard about the risks posed by climate change, and about what we can do to minimize those risks," Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change said in a press release. "We need to move past asking whether extreme weather is caused by climate change and start figuring out how to protect ourselves in a future when these events become both more severe and more common."
Every region of the U.S. is vulnerable to at least one type of natural disaster. While some disasters can be predicted, most come with little warning, and are often linked to other events.
Severe winter storms seem to be what wreaks the most havoc on the states within this region. Heavy snow falls can bring standstills, and the subsequent melting can cause major flooding.
Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Throughout the season, powerful and potent tropical storms form. The precipitation, flooding, and strong winds from the storm systems can devastate dozens of communities at a time.
This region is known to see the greatest amount of tornadoes. Tornadic systems often carry with them a water, wind and fire damage throughout the areas they affect.
Earthquakes and wildfires are the two most common disasters in this region. Wildfires can destroy thousands to hundreds of thousands of acres at a time, and take days or weeks to contain.
Santa Ana winds, are infamous for fanning wildfires.
Natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, can strike at anytime or any place without warning. They can destroy homes and businesses and even take lives. But the key to any sort of natural disaster is being prepared.
You should develop a family disaster plan, gather emergency supplies and seek out the safest shelter for different weather circumstances.
Copyright 2011 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Monday, April 30 2012 12:17 AM EDT2012-04-30 04:17:45 GMT
Most of the homes along Highway 20 in Hillsboro that were destroyed by those deadly tornadoes have been rebuilt, but there's still a long road to recovery. Lawrence Davis Jr. didn't imagine April 27th,More >>
Most of the homes along Highway 20 in Hillsboro that were destroyed by those deadly tornadoes have been rebuilt, but there's still a long road to recovery.More >>
Sunday, April 29 2012 12:24 AM EDT2012-04-29 04:24:01 GMT
The road to recovery still a long one ahead for a Harvest family that lost two loved ones from the April 27 tornadoes. Misty Cornwell held a memorial Saturday afternoon to remember her 15-year-old daughter,More >>
The road to recovery still a long one ahead for a Harvest family that lost two loved ones from the April 27 tornadoes. Misty Cornwell held a memorial Saturday afternoon to remember her 15-year-old daughter, Katie, and her father, Harold Fitzgerald, who were both killed by the storm one year ago.More >>
Thursday, April 26 2012 5:30 PM EDT2012-04-26 21:30:15 GMT
An August 29, 2011 Gov. Robert Bentley announced the formation of the Tornado Recovery Action Council, or TRAC. The group of industry and government leaders had a simple mission; to help Alabama recoverMore >>
The Tornado Recovery Action Council of Alabama researched and developed 20 key ways to improve disaster preparedness in the state.More >>
With the cleanup process under way and the death toll holding steady, federal, state and local officials are teaming up to put the pieces back together for the broken communities slashed by last week's devastating tornadoes.More >>