Top Ten Disasters of 2009


Boat washed ashore in Pago Harbor, American Samoa - photo by Jennifer Goldsmith

This list is only for disasters that took place in the United States and U.S. territories.  It’s a little arbitrary, and is “The List According to Jen”, as it were. You might be wondering how I came up with these.

Here was my line of thinking–start by listing the events that got the most media attention.  Then–look at which events had a significant amount of both public and private damage (government and private citizens).  Finally, I looked at which events were the most wide spread, even if private citizens did not get massive amounts of damage.  I left out certain events like Tropical Storm Ida and various Nor’Easters, NOT because they weren’t widespread or damaging, (on the contrary) but because larger disasters are declared by state, usually, and not by region.  So, if there were 3 states declared from Tropical Storm Ida and each of them had 5 declared counties, I left those out.

I would love to hear what you all think should be on the list and why.

  1. 12/12/08-01/05/09  Washington, Severe Winter Storm and Record and Near Record Snow
  2. 1/6/09-1/16/09  Washington , Severe Winter Storm, Landslides, Mudslides, and Flooding
  3. 1/26/09-2/13/09 Kentucky , Severe  Winter Storm and Flooding
  4. Started 3/19/09   North Dakota, Severe Storms and Flooding
  5. Started 3/26/09  Georgia,  Sever e Storms, Flooding, Tornadoes and Straight-Line winds
  6. Started 4/27/09  Arkansas , Severe Storms and Flooding
  7. 05/08/09-05/16/09  Missouri,  Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding
  8. 9/18/09-10/08/09   Georgia , Severe  Storms  and Flooding
  9. 9/29/09 American Samoa, Earthquake, Tsunami, Flooding
  10. 11/5/2009  Fort Hood Shooting, Terrorism, 13 killed



4 responses to “Top Ten Disasters of 2009

  • mhavanti

    What about Oklahoma’s Fires? The fires were the Oklahoma part of the Arkansas Storms and Flooding thing. I did the PDAs and then worked the disaster. It wasn’t huge, however it was a national, Presidential Dec.

    We do count Oklahomans as people too!

  • kalamityjenn

    Oh, SNAP!!! I forgot H1N1!!!! D’oh!!! That should be on the list like nobody’s business.

    I thought about all the Oklahoma stuff, but then decided against it because the wildfires only affected a few counties. You got to do a PDA? Do you often do those? I think they are really exciting! I took a field safety raining course where they promised me steel-toed boots and 4 months later, I still haven’t gotten them!!!

  • mhavanti

    Noone ever pays for anything for me! You do look better than I though! Fires affected 21 counties, only 10 were dec’d. I’ve done them for three years.

    I somehow doubt that DAEs will be doing PDAs in Six Region for a while due to the hiring of so many CORES. The CORE staff has been trained by the DAEs in assessments, thus DAEs are no longer needed in this capacity. To be honest, that does make sense monetarily because the CORE staff shouldn’t have any conflict in needing employment.

    During IKE, I had the single distinction of having a complete Zero across the board on a PDA for Affected, Minor, Major and Destroyed. And of all people, it would have to be me! I’m simply not going to break trust and lie to get deployed. If many DAEs were to read this, I’m sure I just made their list. We both know which list this is.

  • mhavanti

    Jennifer, how have you been? Haven’t heard from you for a good while. Not since you went to American Samoa. Where are you and what are you doing now? Did you get the Colo. Emergency job?

    Hope you have been well. Take good care,


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