Nuclear war, EMP, earthquake, global warming, global cooling, the big asteroid strike… apocalyptic disasters provide Hollywood with endless fodder. But while The Big Ones are entertaining in the abstract, they’re statistically unlikely to happen in your lifetime. But it doesn’t take an alien invasion for large regional, national, or even global events and trends to prove disastrous to you.
A quick survey of the last hundred years includes disasters of all kinds, with a death toll in the hundreds of millions – wars, famines (both natural and man-made), and catastrophic economic turmoil. A lot can change over a century, so let’s just look at just the last two decades.
Every few years a monster ice storm shuts down large portions of the American Southeast for days or even weeks, with broken tree branches blocking driveways and streets, and abandoned cars littering slick freeways. Hurricanes regularly bring panic, flooding, and destruction to the East and Gulf Coasts. Forest fires in the western half of the continent lead to evacuations and destroyed property every year.
Riots, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, ice storms, chemical spills, forest fires, floods – we aren’t immune to these in the developed world. They happen frequently, and the irony is that we are often less prepared, mentally and physically, than our fellows in less-developed countries