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March 16, 2011

Thirteen Disasters Waiting to Happen

Thursday Thirteen

Since the earthquake in Christchurch and the one in Japan, our larger cities have been under the spotlight. According to records, many buildings in Auckland (where I live) are not earthquake proof. For the last few years we’ve had a series of ads on TV and other media about being prepared with an emergency kit. Like most people I pretty much ignored the ads. Not now. Experts say we have earthquakes every day in New Zealand. Who knew? I didn’t. I’ve never experienced an earthquake, and I really don’t want to lose my virgin status in this respect.

In our local paper this week they listed disasters that could strike those of us who live in Auckland. They included the likelihood of a hazard occuring and the possible impact on the Auckland population.

Thirteen Auckland Disaster Risks

1. Power failure – very high risk/possible/catastrophic (a problem with power crippled the central business district a few years ago)

2. Human epidemic – very high risk/possible/catastrophic (we’re big travellers with lots of planes coming and going each day)

3. Distant volcanic eruption – very high risk/likely/major

4. Cyclone – very high risk/likely/major

5. Flooding – very high risk/almost certain/moderate (flooding seems to be a problem in many areas during high rainfall)

6. Erosion: Coastal Cliff – very high risk/almost certain/moderate (there are lots of expensive homes perched on cliffs)

7. Auckland volcanic eruption – high risk/rare/catastrophic (I knew this was a possibility since Auckland is built on a field of volcanoes)

8. Animal epidemic – high risk/possible/major

9. Aircraft crash – high risk/possible/major

10. Earthquake – high risk/unlikely/major

11. Hazardous spill – high risk/likely/moderate

12. Erosion: Landslide – very high risk/almost certain/moderate (we’re quite a hilly city, but I wouldn’t have thought of this one)

13. Dam failure/Rural fire – low risk

Source – Manukau Courier, 15 Mar, 2011
Are you prepared? – a link to a website about being prepared for an emergency.

What disasters could strike where you live? Are you prepared with an emergency kit?


  1. colleen

    Anything can happen but I don’t think we should test fate by making power plants with more atomic radiation than the bomb.

  2. Maddy Barone

    That’s sure scary. All I know about New Zealand is the marvelous wool fibers from your excellent sheep, and that it is gorgeous as seen in the Lord of the Rings movies.

  3. Heather

    The most imminent disaster where I am is flooding, which many Americans are already experiencing. We are having a bit of a “heat wave” in Wisconsin this week–it was 58F today, a good 15 above normal–plus rain possible over the next several days. Rain plus snow melt plus frozen ground is not good. Makes me glad i live uphill!

  4. Shelley Munro

    Colleen – no, that doesn’t sound like a good idea. A lot of our power is hydro down this way so if it doesn’t rain we’re in trouble.

  5. Shelley Munro

    Maddy – I think there are probably similar dangers no matter where we live. I thought it was an interesting list though. I hadn’t considered several of the items such as erosion and fire. We get a big cyclone every few years and the coastal areas flood.

    Heather – I’m so glad we don’t get snow in Auckland. We do get a lot of rain though. Living on a hill sounds good to me too!

  6. Mercy

    and its not even 2012 yet…….
    Happy T13!

  7. Adelle Laudan

    It sure makes one think, what would we do if…

  8. Shelley Munro

    Mercy – I’m not going to lose any sleep while worrying. I figure I could just as easily be in the wrong place at the wrong time while going to work or do the weekly shop for groceries :grin:

    Adele – we’re so dependant on electricity these days. Many people couldn’t use their phones down in Christchurch because they had the newer handsfree phones.

  9. Charity

    It is best to not dwell on the negative things as you said…wrong place wrong time happens more often than disasters. Good to plan for what you can though.

  10. Anthony North

    It’s a dangerous world. So many risks.

  11. Long and Short Reviews

    Thankfully, I live out in the middle of nowhere — so would probably have time to get away from any major disasters. We’re not on a fault line, not near the ocean, not in tornado alley …

    But, even so, we try to be prepared. Scary times.

  12. Hazel

    Yesterday Bangkok was boiling hot. Today it’s freaking cold. No wonder they allot big budget on climate change research. “virgin status in this respect” I like that.

  13. Jennifer Leeland

    I live in a place that has epic floods every 100 years or so and earthquakes all the time.
    And we’re also a prime Tsumami risk area. Yeah, we try and stay prepared with bottled water, canned food and lanterns.

  14. Savannah Chase

    Wow way too many…I think we live in a world where so much can happen and we never really think about it….

  15. A. Catherine Noon

    I love that #8 is an animal epidemic. THERE ARE ENTIRELY TOO MANY CATS IN HERE!

    Happy TT!

  16. Suzanne

    It is possible for an earthquake, a tsumani, and I guess flooding to happen where I live. I mentioned on my blog we had loss of power yesterday for seven hours. I didn’t mind, but hubby was lost. lol.. I can sit and daydream, and think to fill in time. But anylonger, it would be very difficult. It made us realise how much people suffer even with loss of electricity. IT’s a luxury we take for granted. Actually we take a lot of things for granted.

    Let’s pray everthing settles down.

  17. Xakara

    I watch every disaster/preparedness show that airs because I want to know what to do and how to do it; but honestly the writer part of my brain takes over and I end up seeing stories instead of disasters. I guess we all have our way of coping, huh?

    Come read my “13 Page” free read. I’m part of a bloghop for St. Patrick’s Day and there’s a Kindle 3 grand prize, so spreading the world to give my T13ers a chance at it!

    Happy TT,

    Free Read/Kindle 3 Contest

  18. Shelley Munro

    Suzanne – 7 hours without power would be very hard!

    A Catherine – LOL – my husband would agree with you.

  19. Kimberly Menozzi

    It’s funny that you don’t think you’ve ever experienced an earthquake – I bet you have, you just didn’t know it. ;)

    Seriously, there are tiny little tremors all the time just about everywhere. I remember when I was growing up in Kentucky and we had a small earthquake. It freaked me out, because I felt it and I heard it – something like a train rumbling past even though I didn’t live anywhere near train tracks.

    My dad tried to reassure me by telling me we had tiny little ones all the time, but we just didn’t notice them because they weren’t big enough to do anything noticeable. I didn’t experience one like that again until we had one in Tennessee in 2005 or so.

    Now I live somewhere we feel them much more, and I’ve been in a couple of really noticeable ones: one actually had things swaying back and forth (including my desk chair), the other was the same rumble I remembered from my childhood.

    It takes some getting used to, I admit. ;)

  20. Mary Kirkland

    We have a small kit because I leanred how to make one when I lived in california where in elementary school they show you how to make the kit you’ll need for a few days if a disaster hits.

  21. Darla M Sands

    Where live we call it tornado alley. So far, so good, but we do have a lot of supplies in the cellar. Best wishes!

  22. Yvette Davis

    What is an animal epidemic exactly? I’m not sure if you mean too many locusts or sick dogs….?

  23. Shelley Munro

    Hi Yvette – I mean diseases spread by animals such as bird flu or an outbreak of an animal disease like foot and mouth disease would decimate our economy and cause a lot of hardship. Our border controls are very strict to prevent alien animals arriving in NZ and causing disease.

  24. Alice Audrey

    You live in a dangerous place.