From the beginning of the beginning, weather and climate have affected planet Earth and humankind. The forces of nature both bless and curse our world.
Heat. Drought. Wildfires. Why is Mother Nature so angry? Blizzards. Hail. Ice storms.
Too much sun and we experience drought. Too much rain and we experience floods. “Turn around. Don’t drown!” Too much wind and we experience tornadoes. Add water to wind and we experience hurricanes, typhoons, and tsunamis. Thunderstorms and lightning can shake and bake us. “When thunder roars, go indoors!”
Landslides. Earthquakes. Mud flows. Is Mother Nature taking revenge for mistreatment of the planet?
Heat waves roll in and out. Air conditioners and fans gobble electricity. Go inside and chill for a while.
Weather. Predictable and unpredictable. Calm and serene. Dangerous and damaging. Natural disasters abound. Are they increasing?
People are drawn to reside close to or in the center of nature. Civilizations built dwellings next to life-giving rivers, lakes, and seas.
But living in paradise carries a price. Are humans meant to live at the base of volcanoes? On the highest mountain peaks? In flood plain areas? On islands in the middle of oceans? In deep forests? Below sea level? On the banks of rivers?
The Weather Channel shows the world what happens when the elements change and rage. The blazing wildfires in California. Japan’s deadly heat wave. Record-breaking heat in the USA. Our sun is both friend and foe.
The World and weather
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. WMO studies the Earth’s atmosphere. www.public.wmo.int/en.
The USA and weather
The US Dept. of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provide National Weather Service information at www.weather.gov. “If you know what to do before, during, and after severe weather you can increase your chances of survival.”
Ohio and weather
The National Weather Service has offices in Cleveland and Wilmington, Ohio. www.weather.gov/.
Do you know about the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness-OCSWA? “It is OCSWA’s goal to inform residents of weather hazards that typically affect Ohio, and encourage families to plan ahead and know what to do during different weather and home emergencies; organize emergency preparedness kits; and practice safety drills to protect themselves from severe weather emergencies and home fires.” Peruse the following Fact Sheets: Are You Ready for Winter Storms? Are You Ready for a Flood? Are You Ready for Tornadoes or High Winds? Are You Ready for Thunder and Lightning Storms? Are You Ready for a Power Outage? www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/ and www.ready.ohio.gov/.
According to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, Ohio received a Federal Disaster Declaration for the February 2018 flooding. Counties covered included: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Columbiana, Gallia, Hamilton, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Scioto, Vinton and Washington counties. www.content.govdelivery.com/.
Governor Kasich has recognized March 18-24, 2018 as Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week. The purpose is for Ohioans to prepare homes, schools, businesses, organizations, and communities for potential severe weather.
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Ohio MHAS) discusses how to manage the emotional consequences of storms and flooding and coping strategies.
“Mother Nature may be forgiving this year, or next year, but eventually she’s going to come around and whack you. You’ve got to be prepared,” proclaimed Geraldo Rivera.
Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She resides in southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.