Tuesday, April 25, 2006

In the Wake of Katrina: The Wrath of Mother Nature

Author: Jon Bischke

When natural disaster hits there are usually more questions than answers. Why did this happen? Can something like this be prevented from happening again? What does this all mean? In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, people are asking these and many other questions. As people come to grips with what has occurred it is natural for there to be curiosity about previous natural disasters in our planet's past.

There are a number of audio books that deal with the subject of natural disasters and can help give people context and understanding during tragic times. Often the best way to prevent future disaster is to understand what happened in the past and take action to prevent mistakes that might have led to the event or increased its impact. Here are some resources that you may want to consider listening to.

""Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded"" is the incredible story of the 1883 eruption of the volcano and the subsequent tsunami that killed almost 40,000 people. Simon Winchester narrates this tale of disaster and the ramifications of it on the surrounding area. On the other side of the world, a less catastrophic but more recent disaster is detailed in ""Fire on the Mountain"", the tale of a forest fire in Colorado on July 3, 1994. This fire claimed the lives of 14 firefighters and ranks as one of the deadliest days in the history of firefighting.

Blizzards and snowstorms are often tragic causes of death. ""Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America"" recounts the blizzard of 1888 that hit the Eastern Coast of the United States. This blizzard resulted in the death of 400 people, the sinking of 200 ships and snowdrifts that reached 50 feet in height. Climbers that challenge the world's highest peaks often come face to face with Mother Nature as well. Iconic climber Anatoli Boukreev's ""The Climb"" and Jon Krakauer's ""Into Thin Air"" both tell the haunting story of the 1996 attempts to scale Everest during which weather conditions contributed to the death of eight climbers.

There are even podcasts related to natural disasters. The Disaster News Network (DNN) puts out a regular podcast which has covered recent events such as the Indonesian earthquake and of course Hurricane Katrina. Another podcast that has covered the hurricane from a scientific perspective is the Science Friday podcast which is a production of NPR. Both of these podcasts are free to listen to and provide an alternative view of recent events.

Listening to audio books about natural disasters can't take the sting of these disasters away but it can help to give us a better historical perspective and show us the remarkable resilience of human beings even when the worst possible scenario has unfolded.

About the author: Jon Bischke is the Founder of LearnOutLoud.com and is passionate about helping you improve your life. He invites you to check out the complete selection of educational and self-development audio and video material at http://www.learnoutloud.com For the HTML version of this article complete with links to the titles that were mentioned, please visit http://www.learnoutloud.com/katrina01


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