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Thread: Buffalo...Safest Place in America??? Do you live in a disaster zone??

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    Buffalo...Safest Place in America??? Do you live in a disaster zone??

    I found these interesting little items about natural disasters. The map show places prone to natural disasters. I thought it was kind of funny. Much of the development in the US is in the most disaster prone areas.

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  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    No surprise there. Most people locate on coasts/major waterways due to aesthetics and the original commerce routes of America. I'm on the southwestern edge of tornado alley and right on the border of the extreme huricane risk. Tornado Alley is not depicted very well on this diagram, IMHO.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    It seems to me that England has got to be safe from natural disasters. No blizzards, extreme cold or heat. Rainfall tends to be consistently spread out. Although I suppose flooding could happen.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by steel
    I found these interesting little items about natural disasters. The map show places prone to natural disasters. I thought it was kind of funny. Much of the development in the US is in the most disaster prone areas.
    ]

    OK I will try to get this one started again. Maybe too late. Any way for some reason I can not edit so I will put these pictures back in with a new post. I thought these were pretty funny.


    copyright New York Times


    Copyright Buffalo News

  5. #5
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    Pittsburgh and Cleveland look very safe too. Philly, Baltimore and DC are right on the cusp.

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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983
    It seems to me that England has got to be safe from natural disasters. No blizzards, extreme cold or heat. Rainfall tends to be consistently spread out. Although I suppose flooding could happen.
    Ah, but some alarmists posit that "Global Climatic Change" could cause the Gulf Stream to switch off, plunging merry green England into the DEEP FREEZE.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by herodotus
    Pittsburgh and Cleveland look very safe too. Philly, Baltimore and DC are right on the cusp.
    What about that tornado that hit Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington area back in 98 or 99?

    Just missed the neighborhood I was living in then.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  8. #8
    BWharrie's avatar
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    The Colorado alpine areas should be a disaster zone, not from avalanches but from getting wiped out on a ski slope when trying to telemark.
    What about North Dakota. I got caught there for four days in a blizzard in boring Dickinson. Even the cable TV in the motel went out. We had to ski to the mall on the interstate to get some food. Very hazardous for us Aussies.
    I reckon driving down from Jacob Lake to Flagstaff AZ through the indian reservation in the middle of the night once a month was also very hazardous, especially each winter.
    And the icy road near Jacob Lake going to the North Rim in the middle of winter when the car rolled and I got hit in the head by the metal first aid kit. Had to walk two miles at 2am with my head gashed open and bleeding. Lucky it was so cold all the blood just frooze up!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I've looked at maps like that before and this map is leaving out a few things, like flooding and blizzards. There is no place "safe" on planet earth. It is a "pick your poison" type situation.

  10. #10
    Exactly. Flooding is the largest drain of FEMA aid in the country, and its very common in the little disaster-free swath of land on that map. It just doesn't make headlines like hurricanes and landslides.

    I was amazed this winter when a weather reporter in New York City remarked that the city spends a million dollars for every inch of snow (?!) to clean up the city after a blizzard. All those plows aren't cheap.

  11. #11
    Blizzards don't destroy your house though.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel
    Blizzards don't destroy your house though.
    When a foot of snow was dropped in central Georgia when I was a kid, roofs began collapsing. Even in the far north, where roofs are typically designed to bear the snow load (or shed it, with a steep pitch), roofs can collapse if a blizzard dumps enough snow on them in a short period of time. Blizzards also kill people. So I really don't understand what the point is in dismissing them.

  13. #13
    Well it is true that blizzards can kill people. A cup of water can kill people too and so can your shoe laces if you trip on them. Most times when you hear of a death attributed to a snow storm it is due to a heart attack. Something that might just as well have happened to the poor sole while sunning on the beach.

    You can design a roof to hold up the expected snow load. The requirements for snow loads are built into building codes for all northern cities. A blizzard or a snow storm is not such a violent event as a hurricane or a tornado or a volcano. No building will withsatnd a volcano and when your hilside is washed away by a mud slide your house is going along for the ride. Also I can say that I will take 3 feet of snow any day to 3 feet of water surrounding my house not to mention 20 feet of ocean storm surge.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel
    Well it is true that blizzards can kill people. A cup of water can kill people too and so can your shoe laces if you trip on them. Most times when you hear of a death attributed to a snow storm it is due to a heart attack. Something that might just as well have happened to the poor sole while sunning on the beach.

    You can design a roof to hold up the expected snow load. The requirements for snow loads are built into building codes for all northern cities. A blizzard or a snow storm is not such a violent event as a hurricane or a tornado or a volcano. No building will withsatnd a volcano and when your hilside is washed away by a mud slide your house is going along for the ride. Also I can say that I will take 3 feet of snow any day to 3 feet of water surrounding my house not to mention 20 feet of ocean storm surge.
    Okay, so, let me see if I understand this: Blizzards aren't real disasters in your opinion? People who die of a heart attack in a blizzard are just having a freak accident, coincidentally, and the stress of the situation couldn't possibly be a contributing factor? The person would have had the heart attack anyway, even while perfectly relaxed (like "sunning themselves on the beach")?

    I still don't understand what your point is. If you are defending an illogical position just to disagree with me, then there isn't any point in debating it with you. I didn't comment on the map in order to take some kind of personal swipe at you.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    How about....

    Wildfires! I almost lost my house from two different fires in the foot hills west of Denver Hundreds of others have lost their homes.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  16. #16
    People die of heat stroke as well in hot climates but I would not consider a 100 degree day in Texas to be a disaster nor would I consider a 3 foot snow storm in Buffalo to be a disaster. You shovel the snow and then you go about your day.

    I did not really intend this thread as a debate. Its not really about Buffalo either. The clippings just happen to focus on Buffalo.

    I found the map and cartoon to be funny in that people in many parts of the country don't have to worry so much about major disasters. That fact is that disasters can happen any place. Certain Buffalo suburbs are built in flood plains for instance and an occasional tornado has been sited in outlying areas. For the most part though the natural environment is quite benign in Buffalo and many other similar places.

    I can see how a southerner such as yourself might think of a snow storm as a disaster (And I say snow storm instead of blizzard because a blizzard is an extremely rare event if you go by the technical description). People in the north get a good chuckle seeing some southern city paralyzed by a 1" snow fall. Maybe snow should be a added to the map as a disaster for anyplace outside the normal snowfall areas in the north were it occasionally snows enough to shut the place down.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    According to Mayor Daley, people don't die from heat either. If a record number of old folks die in the city during a record heat wave, well, they're old! Old people die! Get over it!

    But yeah, southern fear of snow is friggn hilarious. Also how they are so completely petrified of it and thing it is such an unparalleled evil that the people moving to the south from the north are doing so to get away from our "evil horrible awful winters!"

    You know, and not moving down there to get at the jobs that malformed federal policies steal from the north and give to the south.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I think alot of these people who die of heart attacks during blizzards are people who are shovling snow when they are not in the physical shape to be doing such a strenuous job. Other people who die may be in car accidents which are preventable by better driving skills or staying off the road. Of course there are probably more accidents with a few inches of wet snow than a full fledged blizzard. Of course some people may die due to the fact that it is hard to get emergency services to places with blocked roads. But I'll have to agree with Steel that blizzards are relatively benign compared to other disasters.

  19. #19
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    The one thing I'll chime in with here is that disasters seems to be relative.

    Living in Texas, we scoff at the Chicago "heat waves" of 90 degrees. However, that is largely because we are more accustomed to those temperatures and have more widespread use of air conditioning.

    By the same token, 12" of snow in Buffalo is no big deal because they have prepared for that type of weather. You get 12" of snow in say, Laredo, TX and it becomes a disaster. Buffalo designs their buildings for snow loads and such, Laredo rarely, if ever sees snow and doesn't worry with stronger designs.

    You want an scary thought, imagine the next New Madrid earthquake with the context of none of that area having earthquake retrofitting and codes. A 5.5 barely gets the attention of San Francisco locals, but would be devastating for the New Mardrid area.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  20. #20
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    The one thing I'll chime in with here is that disasters seems to be relative.

    Living in Texas, we scoff at the Chicago "heat waves" of 90 degrees. However, that is largely because we are more accustomed to those temperatures and have more widespread use of air conditioning.

    By the same token, 12" of snow in Buffalo is no big deal because they have prepared for that type of weather. You get 12" of snow in say, Laredo, TX and it becomes a disaster. Buffalo designs their buildings for snow loads and such, Laredo rarely, if ever sees snow and doesn't worry with stronger designs.

    You want an scary thought, imagine the next New Madrid earthquake with the context of none of that area having earthquake retrofitting and codes. A 5.5 barely gets the attention of San Francisco locals, but would be devastating for the New Mardrid area.
    I was going to mention a couple of these.

    Central Illinois is "extreme" prone.. Heat? All-time record high in my community is 113 F. Cold? Try all time record low of -27 F, Snow? 2 ft or more in an event more than once in my lifetime. Tornados, grapefruit sized hail, droughts (1988), floods (1993), earthquakes-minor (4.5 last year near Ottawa, IL).

    I won't claim a worse day-to-day heat and humidity mix than the southern US, but when we get a humid day, the dew point often exceeds 80 degrees (thanks to agriculture), and heat indexes will push 115-125 a couple days a year.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by steel
    I did not really intend this thread as a debate. Its not really about Buffalo either. The clippings just happen to focus on Buffalo.
    I really did not intend to debate it either.

    I can see how a southerner such as yourself might think of a snow storm as a disaster
    FYI, this 'southerner' is a military wife with a German mom and I presently live in California. I have lived in Washington state -- where we got more snow than rain -- Germany, Kansas and a few other places.

    I don't intend to post further in this thread.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by steel
    A blizzard or a snow storm is not such a violent event as a hurricane or a tornado or a volcano.
    Have you ever seen the destructive forces of an avalanche? Avalanche's are caused by blizzard like events (amongst others). They can wipe out 100 year old forests. While there are few places in the United States where they would create enough of a concern to influence growth, there are numerous areas in Europe and in some southern hemisphere countries where they do. Avalanches have also wiped out buildings (some as large as a 50,000 square foot lodge) and have wiped out entire villages. One of the worst natural disasters in Utah was an avalanche in the late 1800's that wiped out the town of Alta, killing dozens of miners.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    Have you ever seen the destructive forces of an avalanche? Avalanche's are caused by blizzard like events (amongst others). They can wipe out 100 year old forests. While there are few places in the United States where they would create enough of a concern to influence growth, there are numerous areas in Europe and in some southern hemisphere countries where they do. Avalanches have also wiped out buildings (some as large as a 50,000 square foot lodge) and have wiped out entire villages. One of the worst natural disasters in Utah was an avalanche in the late 1800's that wiped out the town of Alta, killing dozens of miners.
    Wow...dozens...

    That is a threat to us all.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    Have you ever seen the destructive forces of an avalanche? Avalanche's are caused by blizzard like events (amongst others). They can wipe out 100 year old forests. While there are few places in the United States where they would create enough of a concern to influence growth, there are numerous areas in Europe and in some southern hemisphere countries where they do. Avalanches have also wiped out buildings (some as large as a 50,000 square foot lodge) and have wiped out entire villages. One of the worst natural disasters in Utah was an avalanche in the late 1800's that wiped out the town of Alta, killing dozens of miners.

    Avalanches....another disaster that will never happen in Buffalo.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by steel
    Avalanches....another disaster that will never happen in Buffalo.
    I never said that they would happen in Buffalo, just pointing out that blizzards are a natural disaster that could have a profound impact on a community. Just like other natural disasters in other areas, if a community is prepared, the impacts will be less. Some communities don't see certain natural disasters as a big deal, while others do.

    As far as the "dozens' of miners killed, it was in the 60-70 range. At the time, the town had a population of roughly 300, that's 20% of the town wiped out in about 60 seconds. Remind me, how many people were killed in Florida during the 2004 hurricane season? According to this site http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...27_jeanne.html it was 70.

    (disclaimer: I am in no way saying that the Hurricanes caused less impact then an avalanche. I used the example to demonstrate that avalanches, which may be caused by large snow and wind events (i.e blizzards) are a natural disaster and should not be dismissed, but obviously cannot be shown on a US map due to the limited terrain where they may occur)

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