The number of disasters is increasing worldwide.
During the past five decades (1964-2013), nearly 20 thousand environmental disasters (not to include epidemics, wars, and conflict-related famines) were reported to have killed 5.4 million people worldwide, affected 7 billion lives and resulted in property damage exceeding 2.7 billion US dollars. Environmental disasters comprised 93% (natural disasters, 53%; and technological disasters, 40%) of the world’s disasters declared during that time as compared to 7% caused by all the world’s biological disasters (pandemics, epidemics and outbreaks).
In general, weather-related disasters are, by far, the most frequent disaster occurrences in the world,
My story begins in the Midwestern United States during the mid-1960s with My Weekly Reader, a weekly educational magazine designed for children. Kids in schools throughout the United States (over 5 million of us at one point in time) received the weekly reader as part of our classroom studies. Each class level in grade school had a different version of the weekly reader, based upon age-adjusted interests and reading levels. On a regular basis, a small catalog was also included were we could order short paperback books on various subjects of interest. On one occasion, I saw a book on tornadoes,