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Are We a Natural Disaster Hotspot?

There are some things in life that you simply can’t control. These tend to be the same things that you can’t predict, and, therefore, can’t fully prepare for. Unfortunately, when it comes to weather anomalies and disasters at home or work, these unexpected events also have a long term effect and a serious impact on safety.
 
In the UK, we are lucky enough to have a relatively stable environment. Nothing too dramatic tends to happen with the weather, and we have a far less volatile land than many other regions across the globe. We don’t have to calculate losses from extreme weather events on the same scale as areas like Tornado Alley USA or Tsunami-ridden Australasia. Nor do we face epic events like forest fires and earthquakes 8.0 on the Richter scale.
 
We do, however, have a longstanding history of being flooded. A notoriously soggy nation anyway, we have come to both expect and fear certain sights; coastlines inundated with storms and high tides, rivers of all sizes breaking their banks, and vast stretches of farm and fenland submerged.
 
These events can devastate communities, leaving people homeless, costing them their livelihoods and ruining businesses. Of course, people rebuild, and with the help of fire and flood restoration services like those offered by Relkogroup, communities can overcome the effects of adverse weather conditions.
 
What about more widespread disasters though? And more unpredictable ones? How does the UK measure up to them?
 
Well, you could be mistaken for thinking it doesn’t matter. After all, the UK doesn’t experience such anomalies, so why should we bother worrying about how we’d handle them. Of course, if this is your argument, you may be surprised by just how active the UK has been in recent years.
 
Some of the meteorological anomalies we’ve been experiencing have posed a threat, whilst some of the geological events have acted as more of a precursor to bigger, more disastrous threats we could face in the future.
 
Read on to see some of the unusual events we have experienced in the last few decades, which can be learnt from or should at least set alarm bells ringing.
 
The Great Storm of 1987

Not quite a Floridian hurricane, but this unusually strong October storm devastated much of England’s south. The storm cost the nation £2 billion, and there were 22 fatalities.
 
Bocastle Flash Flood of 2004

In one of the worst disasters to hit a UK community, the town of Bocastle was torn apart by a flash flood that resulted from just five hours of rain. The damage included; seventy-five cars, six buildings, several boats and five caravans, as well as around 100 homes and businesses.
 
Birmingham Tornado of 2005

In 2005, one of the strongest tornados ever recorded in the UK struck the city of Birmingham. It tore through about 1km of the city, damaging buildings like Ladypool Primary School and two churches, and uprooting roughly 1000 trees, as well as ripping roofs off and injuring 19 people. Birmingham suffered a second tornado three months later, and a few years after that, London experienced its own tornado.
 
The Kent Earthquake of 2015

Most recently, the county of Kent was shook by a 4.3 earthquake in the early hours of 22nd May. According to reports, the earthquake didn’t do too much in the way of damage, but it did shake buildings and wake people up, before going viral on social media. And despite piquing plenty of interest, it isn’t as rare of an occurrence as you might think. A 4.7 was felt in Dudley in 2002, and a 5.2 hit Lincolnshire in 2008, among plenty of others.
 
Of course, the UK isn’t exactly inundated with such disasters. For example, flooding is just as much of a threat as it has always been, but climate change and increasingly densely populated areas, particularly those built on floodplains and in other precarious areas, mean more of the same and bigger impacts.
 
And whilst you needn’t install storm sirens or an emergency bunker just yet, it is worth being mindful of the risks, and aware of how our island is changing.
 
Until now, the natural world has managed to catch us by surprise, and it may continue upping its game. So be aware, be prepared, and rest assured that we’ll be there to help with the clean-up, recovery and restoration of your property, home or business.