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Old 08-15-2010, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
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I've lived through a tornado and it was pretty awful, so I'm going to say hurricane because at least you get plenty of warning.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dogwalker425 View Post
Tornado. You usually have warning (or you at least can tell the conditions are favorable for severe weather) and you can take shelter. Plus, it's possible for the tornado to hit your crappy neighbors house and leave your house standing.
Definitely tornadoes. And for pretty much these reasons listed above. Here in Tornado Alley people are fairly savvy about such things and are usually prepared. Although they can strike suddenly and unexpectedly, what with Doppler radar these days, there is usually a lot of advance warning. Also, if one has a scanner, then they can tune in to the weather spotter frequency and get good information. And as also been mentioned, most tornadoes are in the "weak" catagory (F-0 and F-1), and even if one doesn't have a storm cellar, one is usually safe in the interior of the house, because these type don't have the power to level a house (unless it is just a tin shack! LOL).

A goodly percentage of people killed or seriously injured in tornadoes are doing something stupid (such as trying to run from it in a car) or standing outside watching it and not realizing how close it is getting. Don't get me wrong. Strong to violent tornadoes are capable of doing amazing damage and have pack winds that are the strongest on earth (some make the worst hurricanes look almost weak in this regard). But if you use good sense, have a plan ahead of time, and stay abreast of weather conditions then you have a very good chance of surviving without serious injury.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
Definitely tornadoes. And for pretty much these reasons listed above. Here in Tornado Alley people are fairly savvy about such things and are usually prepared. Although they can strike suddenly and unexpectedly, what with Doppler radar these days, there is usually a lot of advance warning. Also, if one has a scanner, then they can tune in to the weather spotter frequency and get good information. And as also been mentioned, most tornadoes are in the "weak" catagory (F-0 and F-1), and even if one doesn't have a storm cellar, one is usually safe in the interior of the house, because these type don't have the power to level a house (unless it is just a tin shack! LOL).

A goodly percentage of people killed or seriously injured in tornadoes are doing something stupid (such as trying to run from it in a car) or standing outside watching it and not realizing how close it is getting. Don't get me wrong. Strong to violent tornadoes are capable of doing amazing damage and have pack winds that are the strongest on earth (some make the worst hurricanes look almost weak in this regard). But if you use good sense, have a plan ahead of time, and stay abreast of weather conditions then you have a very good chance of surviving without serious injury.
I don't know about other areas, but here if there is even a plain old severe thunderstorm, the news stations cut in with non-stop coverage. It's very hard (at least here) to NOT have advance warning.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Southeast Arizona
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In this order, 1. Hurricane, 2. Tornado, 3. Earthquake.

With a hurricane you at least get advanced warning and have upwards of days to get out of dodge.

Tornadoes are unpredictable but at least you can get underground and be relatively safe from them.

In an Earthquake, the ground could take your house in, and a chunk of your neighbors house too.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dogwalker425 View Post
I don't know about other areas, but here if there is even a plain old severe thunderstorm, the news stations cut in with non-stop coverage. It's very hard (at least here) to NOT have advance warning.
That's pretty much how it is where I live (North Central Texas) with the TV stations. Like you say, it is very hard NOT to have some kind of heads up.

A little story you might appreciate. Some years ago, a new couple from the northeast moved in next door. Nice people and all, but totally clueless when it came to severe weather as we think of it. There was a Tornado Watch out that day, and the woman came over to the house almost panicky. Asked me if it would be ok if they came over and got in our storm cellar "when the tornado came."

I told her they were always welcome to come over and get in the shelter in the event of a tornadic situation, because I just assumed initially she meant IF a tornado were to hit, at whatever future date that might be. However, as we talked a few more minutes, it dawned on me that because there was a Tornado Watch issued, then she took it mean (having no prior experience with such things) that one was definitely going to occur that afternoon! LOL

Anyway, I explained to her that a Watch just meant conditions are favorable in a large given area. It didn't mean one was a certainty...in fact, chances were at least more than even there wouldn't be. And even if there was, the further chances were very slim it would actually strike us directly. And that there was a difference between a Watch and Warning.

Of course, even though it was a humorous episode, I am not making fun. After all, hell, I would be the clueless one if I lived in earthquake country!
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
That's pretty much how it is where I live (North Central Texas) with the TV stations. Like you say, it is very hard NOT to have some kind of heads up.

A little story you might appreciate. Some years ago, a new couple from the northeast moved in next door. Nice people and all, but totally clueless when it came to severe weather as we think of it. There was a Tornado Watch out that day, and the woman came over to the house almost panicky. Asked me if it would be ok if they came over and got in our storm cellar "when the tornado came."

I told her they were always welcome to come over and get in the shelter in the event of a tornadic situation, because I just assumed initially she meant IF a tornado were to hit, at whatever future date that might be. However, as we talked a few more minutes, it dawned on me that because there was a Tornado Watch issued, then she took it mean (having no prior experience with such things) that one was definitely going to occur that afternoon! LOL

Anyway, I explained to her that a Watch just meant conditions are favorable in a large given area. It didn't mean one was a certainty...in fact, chances were at least more than even there wouldn't be. And even if there was, the further chances were very slim it would actually strike us directly. And that there was a difference between a Watch and Warning.

Of course, even though it was a humorous episode, I am not making fun. After all, hell, I would be the clueless one if I lived in earthquake country!
LOL! But yes, I would be freaking out in earthquake country too. Where I live, they test the tornado sirens on the first Saturday of the month at 10 am. I remember my boss telling a story once about how she was in a store one Saturday morning when the sirens went off. There were some people in the store who were obviously not from the area because they got really worried and thought there was a tornado. She had to explain to them why the sirens were going off.

I actually love severe weather. I have lived here my whole life and never actually seen a tornado. I've been in many warnings, but only once or twice has there been a tornado close by. If one touches down, it's usually in a rural area. The last time there was a significant tornado (with major damage) in Omaha was 1975.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Rural Northern California
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Originally Posted by BVitamin View Post
And plenty of aftershock with an earthquake.

I've never experienced the other two so I can't say, just wanted to add the comment above.

On a side note, isn't Portland prone to floods, earthquakes, and volcanoes?
I'm too sure about Portland. Mt. Hood is nearby, and has been a fairly active volcano geologically speaking, but I wonder what level of hazard it actually represents to Portland proper. Certainly, small towns near the mountain could be destroyed in an eruption, but I don't think it's anywhere as heavily populated as the area around Mt. Ranier. With Ranier, towns are literally built on top of pyroclastic flows (glowing avalanches) from previous eruptions. Nothing can survive a an avalanche of 1,800 degree rock traveling 450 miles per hour.

I have to say, geologic hazards are usually the worst kind. A large eruption of a stratovolcano can produce massive flash floods (as the glaciers melt instantly), lightning, earthquakes, land slides, and tsunamis (if the volcano is in a body of water). Also, because of the unstable nature of volcanoes, they can collapse suddenly, even without an eruption event (which can then cause a tsunami, as is feared might happen in the Canary Islands and on the Big Island of Hawai'i).

Exceptionally large volcanoes can even cause climate change, by putting up large clouds of particulate matter that block the sun and cause global cooling. An example of this occurred after the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora, in Indonesia. 1816 became the "Year Without a Summer," or simply "Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death." 200,000 died in Europe alone. In the Northeast, snow fell in June and Pennsylvania had river ice in August.

I think volcanoes, apart from major impact events, are the probably the mother of all disasters...but since this poll didn't actually ask about volcanoes, I'd say that Earthquakes and their associated tsunami's are the worst, with tornadoes being the 'least bad'.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Here&There
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Originally Posted by Widowmaker2k View Post
I'm too sure about Portland. Mt. Hood is nearby, and has been a fairly active volcano geologically speaking, but I wonder what level of hazard it actually represents to Portland proper. Certainly, small towns near the mountain could be destroyed in an eruption, but I don't think it's anywhere as heavily populated as the area around Mt. Ranier. With Ranier, towns are literally built on top of pyroclastic flows (glowing avalanches) from previous eruptions. Nothing can survive a an avalanche of 1,800 degree rock traveling 450 miles per hour.

I have to say, geologic hazards are usually the worst kind. A large eruption of a stratovolcano can produce massive flash floods (as the glaciers melt instantly), lightning, earthquakes, land slides, and tsunamis (if the volcano is in a body of water). Also, because of the unstable nature of volcanoes, they can collapse suddenly, even without an eruption event (which can then cause a tsunami, as is feared might happen in the Canary Islands and on the Big Island of Hawai'i).

Exceptionally large volcanoes can even cause climate change, by putting up large clouds of particulate matter that block the sun and cause global cooling. An example of this occurred after the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora, in Indonesia. 1816 became the "Year Without a Summer," or simply "Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death." 200,000 died in Europe alone. In the Northeast, snow fell in June and Pennsylvania had river ice in August.

I think volcanoes, apart from major impact events, are the probably the mother of all disasters...but since this poll didn't actually ask about volcanoes, I'd say that Earthquakes and their associated tsunami's are the worst, with tornadoes being the 'least bad'.
While not in Oregon, Mt St Helens, another active volcano is closer to Portland than Seattle.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:24 PM
 
Location: moving again
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Tornodos have the least chance of directly hitting you, but when it actually does, it's not pretty



Both Tornado and Earthquakes are extremely dangerous because of head injuries especially. hurricanes can cause so much damage but you can get out in time. The cascade effect hurricanes have with other disasters is terrible though.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
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earthquake ... I've been in one.

I now live in tornado alley and although I've never been in one, the threat of such frightens me just as much as the earthquake that hit without warning. Makes no sense to some, but, well, "You just had to be there."
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