How Hurricane Responses Have Changed Since The Victorian Era

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Today, people tend to think of hurricanes as horrible natural disasters. And, there’s no denying the damage they cause and the lives they can destroy. But, they also have had a huge impact on our country’s formation and course of history.

Even in the 16th and 17th centuries, strong storms and hurricanes caused problems like capsizing ships and rerouting settlers. As we know it, our country could be vastly different if it weren’t for these storms taking place.

During the Victorian era, hurricanes changed the course of agriculture and slave labor in America. One major hurricane in 1893 was the most damaging to ever strike South Carolina and the second most deadly in the U.S. 

Hurricanes might not be shaping our history as much these days, but they still get a lot of well-deserved attention. So, from Galveston to Katrina, and every major storm in-between, how have hurricane responses changed since the Victorian era?

The Major Hurricanes of the Victorian Era

The largest and most devastating hurricane throughout the Victorian era was undoubtedly Galveston. In fact, it remains the worst hurricane in U.S. history, often referred to as The Great Storm of 1900.

Some of the staggering statistics to come from this catastrophic event are still difficult to believe, including:

  • Over 6,000 deaths
  • $35.4 million in damage costs (over $1 billion today)
  • 15-foot storm surges that flooded the city

One interesting fact about this hurricane is that a seawall was supposed to be built before 1900 to protect the city. But, a respected meteorologist at the time dismissed the idea by saying the city could never be hit by a powerful enough hurricane to do any damage. Had that wall been built, Galveston may not have seen as much damage or flooding.

The biggest problem with this hurricane and other storms in the Victorian era was that people were ill-prepared. The U.S. Weather Bureau (now known as the National Weather Service) was only 10 years old when the Galveston hurricane hit, and its communication policies were lacking. They weren’t able to adequately give people time to evacuate or prepare in any way. Efforts were focused more on cleaning up after the disaster than preparing for before the storm made landfall.

Changes Over the Years

So many advancements have been made over the years to better equip those living in hurricane-heavy areas. Some of the old Victorian homes that have survived can be staged with their original charm, but given upgrades to help them withstand strong winds and rain. More modern houses in those areas are often built with more structural integrity, including features like:

  • Concrete fortification
  • Steel framework
  • Quick-drying construction materials
  • Square or hexagonal roofs that can withstand strong winds

Many homes in hurricane-affected areas also have hurricane windows, which were originally developed in the 1930s. Hurricane windows are strong and durable, meant to withstand harsh winds better than any traditional window. So, you won’t return home to an exposed house and shattered glass everywhere. You’ll also often see people boarding up their windows before a hurricane hits. That isn’t always necessary with hurricane windows. But, it can provide greater peace of mind if you’re going to be gone from your house for a while.

The most important change over the years is the use of technology. Obviously, it has come a long way since the 1800s-1900s. But, it’s being used to give people plenty of time to get to safety and take care of their homes. Hurricanes will always be devastating. But, the more you know about them ahead of time, the safer you can be.

The Impact of Hurricanes Today

Studies have shown that the hurricanes of today are more intense than those in the Victorian era. A lot of this has to do with changing weather patterns, and even climate change. But, the general patterns and timeframes of hurricanes have remained the same. Depending on where you live in the country, you know there is a “hurricane season”, from June to November every year.

Thanks to modern technology, we can now better detect hurricanes long before they reach landfall. That gives people in the path of the storm an opportunity to evacuate or prepare their homes.

Still, hurricanes are nothing to take lightly today. We might have better technology and more solutions to keep our homes safe. But, hurricanes are still deadly. Galveston remains the worst in U.S. history. Maria and Katrina aren’t far behind, both occurring in the 2000s and claiming more than 2,000 and 1,000 lives, respectively.

Hurricane season will continue to come to the U.S. every year, leaving destruction in its path. While you can’t prevent it, you can be grateful for the ways you can protect yourself and your home now that simply weren’t available during the Victorian era.

First Aid For Seizures

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Tips To Prevent Rape and Abduction ‘Through A Rapists Eyes!’

rape abduction help tips safe tip suggestions rapistI normally do not post about such topics as this really doesn’t fit the profile of this site at all. However, I felt compelled to do so as it is full of information that could keep a possible victim safe and may provide a chance for someone to survive. I hope you take a moment to read it and please feel to share it however you feel fit. I have tried to edit it to make it non-gender specific. A growing number of crimes are happening to men and a growing number of perpetrators are women.

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A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for a victim who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing away.

3] They also look for a victim using their cell phone, searching through their purse/pockets or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place a victim is abducted from/attacked is at a grocery store parking lots.

5] The number two is in office parking lots/garages.

6] The number three is in public restrooms.

7] The thing about these rapists is that they are looking to grab a victim and quickly move him/her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These rapists said they would not pick on a victim who has a umbrella or other similar objects that can be used from a distance in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So the idea is to convince these rapists you’re not worth it.

POINTS THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER:

1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or is with you in an elevator or stairwell look them in the face and ask them a question For instance: ‘What time is it?’ or make general small talk: ‘I can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter.’. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you hold out your hands in front of you and yell ‘Stop’ or ‘Stay back!’ Most of the rapists interviewed said they’d leave a victim alone if they yelled or showed that they would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an easy target.

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes) tell the perpetrator ‘I have pepper spray’ while holding it out so it will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you you can’t always beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD. One victim in a class that was being taught said she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore muscle. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin which is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told the interviewer was that they want a victim who will not cause them a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and get the rapist out of there.

6] When the rapist puts there hands up to you, grab there first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible.

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the person really was trouble.

FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THESE AS WELL ….
I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go “hmm I must remember that”. After reading, forward it to someone you care about because it never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. If a robber asks for your wallet/purse, do not hand it over. Toss it away from you…. chances are that they are more interested in your wallet/purse than you and they will go for the wallet/purse. Run like crazy in the opposite direction!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. People have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) Do not do this! The predator will be watching you and this is the perfect opportunity for them to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. As soon as you close the doors lock them and leave.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

a. Be aware and look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side, peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. (Do this before entering a taxi cab also).

b. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the victims are attempting to get into their cars.

c. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle and the passenger side. If a person is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the place you are leaving and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. It is always better to be safe than sorry. (And better paranoid than dead.) Do not feel silly asking for security to walk you to your car, they are trained to do this. This also goes for men and women – please do not feel ashamed for asking for help if you feel you may be in danger.

6. Alaways take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under their control, always run! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely will not be a vital organ. Run!

8. Do not be sympathetic! It may get you raped or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who always played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle which is when he abducted his next victim.