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I have just watched a news report about 80 major tornadoes causing devastation through four US states including Illinois. The footage was horrendous. Thinking of the victims ... and hoping every hubber in the US makes some effort to help people in those communities rebuild their shattered lives.
I wonder how many will consider building underground houses with earth covered roofs. I know I would.
So true LTM. I feel horrible thinking about what those folks have had to go through. It certainly seems as though Mother Nature has been more destructive of late, doesn't it? Earthquakes in Haiti, twisters in the U.S., super-typhoon in the Philippines ... What is GOING ON here???
Hi ENB. In Australia we are gearing up for a fearful bushfire season. Fires began early but in the past few weeks we've had rain, hail and storms. Won't be long before the fires are on the radar again though.
Interesting the way things are going. Where in the past many countries have been eager and ready to help with international aid, I can't help but wonder what will happen if the entire world is suffering their own traumas at home.
I hope every individual retains sufficient compassion to help their neighbours instead of relying on external aid.
I am embarrassed to say that I didn't know much about the bushfire problem in the land of "Down Under" (... Did I say that right?). I trust that you and your family are safe?
Today we are, thank you. We had a scare a few weeks ago and the coming summer months will be challenging. However I built a very cheap but hopefully very effective fire bunker near our house (yes, I hubbed about it, lol) in case we don't have time to evacuate.
What began as a joke as I dug the big hole by hand has become the envy of my neighbours. From time to time a local approaches me to tell me of someone else who is copying my design.
I have noticed a tree that has grown so tall it might fall on my bunker. Unlikely, but possible. I'm hoping to drop that tree within the next few weeks ... in the opposite direction if all goes to plan!
PS. It is generally 'the land down under' without the 'of' - but I am only pointing that out because you asked.
I never heard about the bush fires of Australia either. I have never witnessed anything like this year of tornados in the Midwest. My heart bleeds for these people. How do you even know where to start when you lose everything? I know you have your life, certainly most important. But the shock of it all must take a huge toll on you. Then what about sick people who need meds everyday? Little kids who need diapers and formula? It seems it takes emergency crews time to get wherever it is.
The Philippine situation is so sad I can't stand to watch anymore. I sent a lot of clothing. About two years ago, my husband and I were talking about how lucky we were to live in New Jersey. Then we had a freak snow storm on Halloween and it was just heavy enough to break the power lines. We were without heat, light, and hot water for 8 days. Then last year it was Hurricane Sandy. Another 8 days. It's cold at that time of year, especially after a storm. Thankfully I used to camp a lot in my younger days, so I did pretty well, but it gets tough.
The NJ shore got all the attention, but really the Northwest part of the state and a lot of NY state had terrible damage. Now the insurance companies are changing the rules, and insisting homes a certain distance from the water need to be built on stilts. So I've seen a lot of houses framed out on stilts, but it's a year later, and the homes are nowhere near livable. If you don't have family to live with, where do you go? I realize many of the shore homes are not primary residences either, many of them sold for more than 1 million dollars many years ago.
LOL - Lose the "of," got it. Well, I'm glad that you and yours are safe, thus far. Your Hub about building a fire bunker sounds interesting. I read your Hub about cleaning a wood burner a few weeks back (http://goo.gl/h1rAZr), after seeing a link for it on HP's Twitter feed. I really enjoyed it — had no idea that charcoal could be used to clean glass!
I imagine that an off-the-grid pro like you already knows a thing or two about felling trees, but just in case, here is a link on how to proceed safely: http://goo.gl/sZ4BF
It certainly hasn't had the coverage that some storms have had. It was so shocking to see the news about Washington, IL. I grew up in that area and went to high school there. It's hard to believe that areas I'm familiar with are now devastated. My sister's old neighborhood is virtually gone. All of my relatives still living there are safe. Most of the homes in that region have basements. Looking at some of the footage, it's amazing they climbed out of there alive. It's so sad when these weather events take place. In a matter of moments, your home is gone.
I'm with you on helping these communities in whatever way is possible. My heart sinks every time I see a photograph. This story about the man who found his dog under the rubble is both heartwrenching and heartwarming. Red Cross is the easiest way to donate and they have set up distribution centers in the affected areas.
Thanks for posting this thread.
It really was shocking to see those images. I can't help wondering why people do not build their homes from bricks and mortar - surely it is time to stop cutting down trees to make wooden houses which can easily be blown away in seconds.
I'm not sure that bricks and mortar would have helped much, sallybea. Anything protruding from the earth seemed to be completely demolished. A tornado spinning other debris would be likely to knock down brick walls. They're not as strong as we like to think.
Perhaps the reason for the wooden houses has to do with climbing out of your basement after the tornado has passed. With an axe or a chainsaw you could chop yourself free of a pile of wood above.
Hi RebekahELLE. That man and his children must have been so worried about the dog while they were in the basement. I can't believe it survived! I just worked my way through the photos at the bottom of his story. Residents in the houses alongside the tornado's path must have been amazed to step from their basements and discover their homes were still standing.
I am pleased your relatives are okay. I imagine they will be busy helping their other community members for quite a while.
Hmm. I have an idea for another hub ...
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