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Hazards and disasters

Hazards and Disasters

Picture found from: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_YtxGNf8GgRA/TOjScQ9kafI/AAAAAAAAFUU/MgQEcbF0gJE/s1600/supercell_storm_sean-heavey.jpg

Disasters are Preventable

Outsmart the Quake! Lesson 1


A hazard is a human made or natural danger that can threaten a group of people, their belongings, and their environment, if they do not take precautions.

Examples of hazards
Examples of Hazards

In Washington:

  • Earthquakes

  • Flooding

  • Landslides

  • Tsunamis

  • Volcanoes

    Other places:

  • Hurricanes

  • Tornados

A landslide in Nile Valley, Yakima in 2009 went completely across the Naches River.



A disaster is a hazard that causes such great losses and damage that the affected communities do not have the resources to recover without outside assistance.

Tsunami damage
Tsunami Damage

Tsunami damage after the 2011 earthquake in Japan.

Photo: Dr. NorioMaki, KyotoUniversity

Flood damage
Flood Damage

2008 Flooding in La Feria, Texas.


Flood damage1
Flood Damage

This house in New Orleans has had its foundation raised so that flood water can run underneath.

The owners of these homes did not take measures to protect their property from flood water.

Photo: Nora Jagielo

Photo: FEMA

Fault lines
Fault Lines

The San Andreas Fault is visible on the surface of the open field in California. This fault line has caused several large earthquake in southern California in the last century.

The Seattle area has many faults running through it, on which cities and neighborhoods are built. Some of these faults were only discovered in the last few decades.




Outsmart the Quake! lesson plans are intended to support 6th-8th grade student learning about disaster preparedness in conjunction with the Washington State ShakeOut drill. The lessons were developed in 2012 by Western Washington University students Nora Jagielo, Pamela Griswold, Spencer Andrich, Pat Chappelle and Ryan Bainbridge as part of the Disaster Risk Reduction Planning Studio.

If you have questions, comments or concerns, please contact Dr. Rebekah Green at Western Washington University’s Resilience Institute. Rebekah.green@wwu.edu.