As 2015 winds to a close, it’s common for news sites to spend some time doing wrap ups of the year’s big events and occurrences. One subject that deserves attention from anyone is that of the various survival stories that spring from disasters of all types, around the world. Taking a look at them can help show why it’s so important to keep food, medical supplies, and survival supplies nearby in case you face a similar situation.
With that in mind, here are some of the biggest 2015 survival stories that occurred in the year.
• The Nepal Earthquake – The biggest and most obvious disaster that saw survival become a desperate fight was certainly the April Nepal earthquake. With a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, it killed more than 9,000 people and wounded more than 23,000. It also caused a major avalanche on Mt Everest, and was followed a month later by another major earthquake. The incident left thousands homeless, and food and shelter were in short supply during the country’s slow recovery.
• Winter Storm Juno – Rolling through North America in January of 2015, Juno dumped as much as 36 inches of snow in some places, caused winds of 75 to 95 miles per hour, and led to three deaths. Power outages were everywhere and travel ground to a halt, making it hard for many to sustain themselves with food and warmth during the storm and afterwards.
• California Droughts – If photos of low reservoirs weren’t attention grabbing enough, perhaps the most bizarre sight during the worsening California water crisis took place on April Fools’ Day 2015.
Each April 1, the California Department of Water Resources conducts a statewide snow survey, including manual measurements of the Sierra snowpack in several locations. Roughly one-third of California’s drinking water comes from the Sierra snowpack, which after melting later in the spring and summer replenishes the state’s reservoirs.
For the first time, the spring 2015 snow survey and news conference near Echo Summit was conducted on bare grass. Cooperative Snow Surveys Program chief Frank Gehrke could only point to the height on a measuring pole that was the previous record low snowpack there.
Statewide, the snowpack was only 5 percent of the April 1 average, by far the lowest on record for that date.
During that news conference, Gov. Jerry Brown announced mandatory statewide water restrictions for the first time in state history.
• The Whole State of Alaska – There may be no other state that typifies strange weather in 2015 than Alaska. Where do we begin?
January was the wettest on record in Juneau, and the December-February period was the state’s seventh warmest. Anchorage saw its record least snowy season, picking up only 25.1 inches of snow from fall through spring.
That’s all notable enough. Then spring became even more strange.
Record April warmth in Anchorage was followed by record May warmth for the entire state, when statewide data was compiled. This included America’s northernmost city, Barrow.
On May 23, the village of Eagle topped out at 91 degrees, the earliest-in-season 90s on record anywhere in our 49th state.
About one week later on June 1, a location southeast of Fairbanks saw about an inch of snow, you know, that stuff that had been lacking in Anchorage all season.
During the spring melt, the swollen Sagavanirktok River flooded and damaged sections of the Dalton Highway, the only link by road to Alaska’s North Slope, not once, but twice.
By mid-June, wildfires had erupted over the state’s dry interior, many of which were started by lightning, belching out a pall of dense smoke in Fairbanks, among other locations.
• October Floods – South Carolina was hit by record floods caused by a series of storms but in particular hurricane Joaquin. The floods were catastrophic, creating 25 deaths, huge evacuations, a total loss of travel, and entire towns finding themselves underwater.
These and other events that take place each year have a big impact on the lives of those who live in the areas, and they all share common factors – most notably that being able to sustain yourself with food, warmth, water, and shelter is absolutely vital. Disaster can come without warning, and being prepared is important. Stocking food and emergency supplies can help ensure that if something comes your way, you and your family can deal with it.