Social Studies 5: Natural Hazards: Patterns in Locations

Most things that are natural are good for you. Might not want to put "natural hazards" in that category, though.

5th GradeSocial Studies
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:19

… property…

00:20

… or the environment. [Trees on fire]

00:21

We’re talking earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, and wildfires. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

00:25

All that good stuff.

00:26

But don’t panic: the chances of you running into all of these hazards in one spot are [Man in a hurricane, a flood and a fire and in the background]

00:30

pretty slim.

00:31

If you do, we know a Hollywood agent who might like to talk to you for a few minutes about [Movie poster]

00:35

a development deal.

00:36

But yeah, the natural hazards you might have to face are partly determined by where you

00:40

live.

00:41

Like…think about earthquakes.

00:42

There are even more earthquakes in California than there are Kardashians. [Kardashians flying around]

00:46

Why so many?

00:47

Because earthquakes happen along fault lines, or breaks in the earth’s crust.

00:52

California happens to sit on a pretty big fault line called The San Andreas. [The San Andreas fault line is drawn]

00:55

When two tectonic plates scrape each other a certain way, it can cause anything from

01:00

a little rolling that barely wakes you up… [Man asleep in bed]

01:03

…to a big shaking that levels buildings. [Man in bed looks shocked]

01:06

As long as we're talking about tectonic plates, we might as well talk about volcanoes.

01:10

Volcanoes are another natural hazard which forms where two tectonic plates meet. [Gap in the earth where a volcano forms]

01:14

There are 65 active volcanoes in the United States.

01:17

It would have been much easier for Frodo if he’d lived here instead of Middle Earth. [Frodo tosses the ring into the volcano]

01:21

When volcanoes erupt, it can send ash and rock into the air or create quick-moving lava flow. [Volcano spits out a ball of rock]

01:26

If beaches are your thing, but the wind in your hair isn’t…then stay away from these

01:31

areas, where every year brings “Hurricane Season”. [Hurrican season sign]

01:34

Hurricanes form over warm bodies of water and require very specific weather conditions [Hurricane shown on a map]

01:38

to form, which is why they only affect certain areas.

01:41

When hurricanes finally hit land, they arrive as huge storms, bringing with them winds reaching [News presenter in a hurricane]

01:46

speeds of up to 75 to 200 miles per hour. [The presenters hat is blown off]

01:49

Another weather related natural hazard is a tornado.

01:53

These violent rotating columns of air can reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour and [Tornado approaching a house]

01:58

can leave a trail of damage up to 50 miles long. [The house flies into the air]

02:01

And while they won’t actually take you over the

02:03

rainbow…there is a reason that everyone’s favorite storm chasers, Dorothy and Toto,

02:07

hailed from the interior U.S. state like Kansas. [Dorothy looking out the window]

02:09

That’s because there’s also “no place like” the central U.S. for prime tornado-making

02:14

conditions.

02:15

It’s along here, in this stretch of land known as “Tornado Alley,” that warm air [Tornado Alley is shown on the map]

02:19

from the Gulf of Mexico meets up with cold air from Canada in a, um…

02:23

North American bad weather trade agreement. [Arrows showing the flow of air]

02:25

Wildfires are most common in the forested areas of the United States.

02:29

That’s because for a spark to become an out-of-control fire you need lots of leaves,

02:33

branches and grass, combined with hot, dry conditions. [Leaves covering the floor of woodlands]

02:36

Yeah, we're looking at you again, California.

02:39

A wildfire has natural causes, like lightning… [A wildfire]

02:42

…but sadly, most wildfires are caused by human carelessness. [Man chucks a cigarette onto the leaves]

02:45

Which only you can prevent. [Bear grabs the man]

02:47

We’re almost out of danger, but there’s one natural hazard we haven’t covered, and

02:51

it’s also the number-one weather-related killer in the United States.

02:55

We’re talking about… floods.

02:57

And yup, they can happen just about anywhere that water overflows onto land, usually during [Flood warning signs appearing all over the US]

03:01

heavy storms.

03:02

A flood can result in water a few inches deep…or it can cover rooftops. [Woman holding an umbrella]

03:07

And while living near a river or other body of water can make flooding more likely, even [The woman disappears behind the flood water]

03:11

a sewer backing up in your street during a heavy storm is enough to cause high water [A tortoise shoots out of a drain]

03:15

levels.

03:16

And that concludes our tour of natural hazards.

03:19

If, after learning about these natural hazards, you no longer wish to live on the planet Earth [Man jumps into a spaceship]

03:24

because it seems like Mother Nature’s out to get you… we honestly don’t blame you. ['Mother Nature' looking angry]