Friday, September 22, 2006

Two Good Resources :: Natural Phenomena

Are you the type of person who prefers to avoid thinking about bad things that may never happen? Or are you the type who'd rather know about possible perils so you can be prepared? I fall into the latter category. I hate to get blindsided or look foolish, though I manage to do both with distressing frequency.

Nothing's worse than anticipating a sunny Caribbean vacation and wind up spending much of it huddled in a hotel lobby for days on end. But Know Your Hurricane Season and this won't happen to you. If you are planning a trip between June and the end of November, check the National Hurricane Center (US) (it's available in Spanish, too) and you can track current storms, and see what storms are brewing off west Africa. The same dates apply to typhoon season in Asia. Follow the links for that information.

The United States Geological Survey's (USGS) site Earthquake Hazards Program, 'part of its effort to reduce earthquake hazard in the United States', is my go-to site for checking how prone an area is to shaking and rolling. (This is another reason why Australia is such a safe destination -- no major fault lines!)

Both these sites are easy to navigate and intuitive, so go have a look, but only if you're the type of person who likes to know stuff like this.