Thursday, January 19, 2017

Natural Disasters: Agriculture's Role

We often hear about natural disasters and their impacts on communities, but we don't always hear about the impact on agriculture from these disasters. Linked below is a video (3 mins), from the FAO, that tells the story of natural disasters impacts on agriculture and the role agriculture can play in prevention of damage during these natural disasters. We encourage you to watch the linked video and utilize the discussion points to spark conversations in your classrooms, coffee shops, and communities around the globe!

Disaster Risk Reduction in Agriculture

Discussion Points

  • What has the trend with natural disasters been? (Consider timing, severity, reasons, etc.)
  • How do natural disasters impact communities and countries? How do they impact agriculture?
  • How can agriculture help reduce the negative impacts of natural disasters?
  • Why is prevention the key?
  • What agriculture practices do you feel would help prevent/decrease damage/loss during natural disasters?

29 comments:

unknown said...
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unknown said...

Prevention is the key because the cost to prevent a disaster compared to the emergency funding is ten times less! Agriculture can help reduce the negative impacts of natural disaster by improving the practices of prevention that can take place and increase the studies on the trends of timing, severity, and weather have on the natural disasters. The agriculture industry can change how the world is proactively preventing the disasters negative impacts, and change them so that we are prepared in many aspects to keep the country afloat. What are some specific ways that allow for countries to be preventative? Somonauk ST

G.C said...

The amount of natural disasters in recent years has increased dramatically. In 1970, the average of natural disasters that were reported was 78. In 2004, this number jumped to 348. According to AccuWeather, since 1990, natural disasters have affected 217 million people every single year. This is an obvious trend of increasing natural disasters, but what has caused this? A well known cause for the increase in natural disasters is man made global warming. Contrary to common belief, this is not the sole cause of climate change and this increase. Many scientists believe the change can also be due to natural elements, and natural changes in our planet.One of the best things that can be done to protect and rebuild people from natural disaster is to use Agriculture practices to provide food for them. With strong and productive practices the strength of natural disasters impacts can be a little less when people find that they at least have a source of food.

unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.E.T said...

The video really enhances and breaks your heart when you see and hear the impact natural disasters play on communities and countries. These disasters take away the livelihood of the people in the community, it destroys their homes, jobs, way of life and it even breaks apart families as many people's lives are lost due to natural disaster. The agriculture within the country or community is ruined due to natural disaster, their means of growing food and harvesting are taken away and destroyed. However during the rebuilding stages after a disaster, agriculture alleviates the poverty and hunger of the people as it offers hope to those who have been affected. Agriculture allows for the people to rebuild, to restart their communities by growing a garden, slaughtering their animals for meat, using their animals for eggs, milk etc. In order to be sustainable after a natural disaster, countries need to focus on preventative practices, such as resilient animal breeds, tolerant varieties of crops or advanced water management practices, all of which are ways to protect the loss of all their agriculture means. Agriculture plays a vital role in restoring the lives of those who lost so much. I think more people need to be educated on canning or dehydrating food, as that is an important and easy way of preserving food. Then if storm cellars/underground cellars were available for those living in places where natural disasters are more common, such as tornadoes and hurricanes then their food or other important necessities would be saved and they would at least come out of the disaster with something to meet their needs.

Reagan Orzech said...

We live in a world of disaster. From floods, droughts, earthquakes, and overall storms, natural hazards are affecting vulnerable communities worldwide. However, prior to reading this article, I had no idea how much the agriculture sector was affected every time a natural catastrophe strikes. Based on the video and my extra research, as the average number of disasters is currently on the rise, more farmers are losing their livelihood as their means of growing food and raising livestock are easily taken away. However, while floods deplete soils of oxygen and droughts cause animals to overheat, agriculture remains a sector that can contribute a lot to reduce the impacts if preventative practices are applied. By investing in stress-tolerant crops, resilient animals, advanced water management practices, and more education for these farmers, not all of the agriculture will be lost. Instead, it can play a vital role in restarting communities with the desired natural resources. Personally speaking, other effective preventative practices could be educating and providing poverty-stricken communities with the resources to preserve their perishable foods and guidance to help them plan escape routes, where to keep their extra supplies, and how to secure items on the farm. Overall, instead of spending a lot of money after disaster strikes, it is important to take charge of the issue and spend the money beforehand to protect more lives. One question I have after my reading is how long does it take on average for farmers in these areas to rebuild and regrow everything they lost? Also, who decides how much money is given to each family or to the community to help them recover from certain catastrophes? -R.M.O Somonauk

Cassidy Johnson said...

Prior to reading this blog and watching the video I had never realized how much agriculture was affected by natural disasters. Of course everyone knows that natural disasters are terrible phenomenons that wipe out everything in their path, but I think most people fail to realize that natural disasters take out more than just people's houses. These disasters take out people's livelihood, their jobs, and food sources. In 1970, the average amount of natural disasters that were reported was 78 in 2004, this number jumped to 348. According to AccuWeather, since 1990, natural disasters have affected 217 million people every single year. From 1980 to 2009 there was an 80 percent increase in the growth of climate-related disasters. While it is clear that there is no way to stop natural disasters from happening, there are ways to soften the blow when they do come. As stated in the video investing in prevention is four times more effective than compared to the cost of emergency response. In this case prevention is the key to success because if areas that are affected by natural disasters can become as prepared as possible for when the storm does come the rebuilding will be much easier because not everything will be lost. After watching the video and reading the article I think that investing in stress-tolerant crops, resilient animal breeds, advanced water management practices, and education for developing farmers will greatly help decrease damage and loss of agriculture during and after natural disasters. -C.R.J Somonauk

R.S. said...

After doing some research it appears that natural disasters are on the rise, leaving many affected people with no homes, a very limited amount of food and safe drinking water. There is a difference between a natural hazard and a natural disaster. A hazard would be an earthquake, hurricane, flood, or volcano eruption, whereas a disaster is the effect it has on the people. ChildFund.org claims that 8 out of 10 of the world’s cities most at risk to natural disasters are in the Philippines. Developing countries are at a higher risk of a natural disaster because they are not as prepared or able to handle the impact of the disaster as well as its aftermath.

Ryley Botsford said...

In recent years natural disasters are becoming more common and mostly very powerful, some are caused naturally but some are caused by man. when these happen people don't think about where their food will come from

Karen Grother said...

Because natural disasters have hit, those countries must work hundreds of times more than I could ever dream of working without moving to a disaster stricken area. Life for them must be incredibly difficult, yet they continue to strive and make it work to the best of their ability. Communities suffer losses and the countries suffer from the lack of food and other products that had come from this area before the disaster. The natural disasters that destroyed the crops, impacted many people because without that food, the people don't have a means to eat. All life on earth requires energy and we get it in the form of food, without that food, many of the survivors may parish from starvation.

Safrancis said...

Natural disasters leave farmers without jobs because they only way they can make money is through their animals and crops, which in a natural disaster, can get wiped out. Without the animals and crops, others who buy these products will no longer be able to, which will lessen the supply of food.

laroyer said...

After watching the video about natural disasters, it seems that they are on the rise. Natural disasters destroys communities, and leaves many people without homes. It takes lots of money to put a community back together. The supply of food goes down because of all of the crops and agriculture being destroyed.

paadams said...

Natural disasters are terrible for farmers and everyone around the world. They affect farmers everywhere when they occur. Such as when a flood occurs, it can cause a farmer to lose his entire field of crops maybe even multiple, and farmers could potentially even lose their livestock.

unknown said...

Natural disasters can affect regions in different ways such as economically and agriculturally. People lose their homes and businesses which can harm the community a lot. Which is why prevention is better than trying to recover from the damages because it would cost more money

cory gustafson said...

Natural Disasters are sad:(

Chad smith99 said...

Natural disasters are bad for all reasons they leave city's destroyed they are no good.

Josh Swenson said...

More should be invested into preventing natural disasters.

MRK said...

From watching this video, I found out that natural disasters are occurring more and more over the years. Natural disasters are not only affecting the economy and the people, by making people lose their homes and losing money, but also the agriculture, by destroying crops and soil that people and animals need to live on. Therefore, I didn't realize how big of an impact natural disasters has on agriculture.

MH said...

Natural disasters are becoming more of a problem because of the rise in climate change within the past decade. These natural disasters are affecting agriculture greatly, which is why it's a good idea to invest in preventive measures so that when natural disasters do hit, they don't have as much of an impact.

unknown said...

After watching the video about natural disasters, It looks like there is more natural disasters every year. With that every year there are more people that are affected around the world.

IG said...

I never knew natural disasters could affect so many people in such a negative way. It is very sad how many people can become homeless due to these disasters.

McKenna said...

By having family who lives on both the west and east coast and in states prone to natural disasters, I knew that these disasters were a big issue. They destroy communities, homes, food supplies, etc. They all know what to do when something like this occurs. So how long does it take to rebuild and repair homes, farms and buildings? And to clean up debree? . Thankfully, I have never witnessed or been involved in one where I lost everything I owned. I feel as if most people do not realize how big of an issue these disasters are and how to prepare for them, especially since there is an increasing number of them. The church I attend helps areas that have been affected by making care kits, helping clean up and donating money which I have participated in. Since there is no way to really prevent these disasters, we need to know what to do when one occurs. I personally think families should always keep a care kit around that include canned foods, bottled water, blankets, clothing, flashlights, extra cash, etc. Natural disasters seem to be occurring more often and it’s better to be prepared for the unexpected then not to be. From my research, the amount of natural disasters have almost doubled since the late 20th century. So what is the real reason why these keep occurring? I believe it has to do with interactions between humans and the natural world. -K.P. Somonauk

M.P. said...

Natural disasters are on the rise, ranging from mild to highly destructive. From 1980 to 2009 there has been an 80% increase in climate related disasters. Climate disasters, including floods, wildfires, heat or cold waves, affect millions of people every year. Not only destroying their personal items, but schools, churches and businesses around their town or city. Disasters also cause impact to agriculture by changing the soil, injuring or killing livestock, and by destroying a food source. One cannot prevent a natural disaster but one can make the outcome better, by storing water, canned food, or using early warning systems. Building sturdier houses would also help with disasters, same with building houses on stilts. Adaption is only one example of trying to prevent disasters. Why are natural disasters increasing, what is causing such a dramatic increase? and are people, those not affected, helping those that are in need?

Unknown said...

When we think of natural disasters we often think of all the damage they do to houses or they human lives they take. What we do not consider is the destruction and impact that natural disasters have on agriculture. When a natural disaster such as a flood strikes, it effects a community by ruining houses and basically washing away people's entire lives. Communities that are victims of natural disasters have to start over and start to rebuild their lives and their homes. When a natural disaster strikes it can also destroy any sign of agriculture. In some countries, people make their entire living off of agriculture and that can be taken away in seconds. This can ruin their crops for an entire season and it would be nearly impossible to save them or grow them back in time for harvest. Prevention is something that countries that are common victims to natural disasters should practice. Prevention is very important because it can limit the lasting effects of a natural disaster and possibly save a bunch of crops and other agricultural aspects when it strikes. Some prevention methods that scientists and other people around the world should considers is creating seeds and animal breeds that are resilient to the common natural disasters (as the video mentions). I also think countries and communities should put policies and plans in place that will help them nip any negative effects in the butt before they get worse. If communities begin to take these steps, the effects that natural disasters create can be lessened and agriculture will be spared.
---J.P. Somonauk

katiek said...

In recent years the amount of natural disasters has been on the rise. The severity of these disasters have also increased. Climate change is to blame for these deadly disasters. Natural disasters have taken a huge toll on many countries in recent years. They have taken many lives and left many people homeless. Not only do these disasters effect people they also effect agriculture. Underdeveloped countries that are being effected by the natural disasters usually solely depend on agriculture. So when a disaster strikes it can be detrimental to those people. Farming is their main source of almost everything. It heavily affects their already struggling economy. These countries do not have the knowledge, ability, or money to recover quickly from these disasters. That is why prevention is key. It is so much cheaper and easier to practice ways of prevention rather than try and clean up the mess after. Practices that are being thought of are teaching the farmers to grow and raise things that are very resilient and durable. If these practices are put to use they could greatly reduce the impact that natural disasters have. Agriculture is very critical thing that could greatly help a country after disaster strikes It can provide food and a source of money. If there is a way to prevent agriculture from being ruined in natural disasters the countries could become much more resilient and able to cope with the disasters more easily.
kk somonauk

AC said...
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AC said...

Natural disasters around the world have been becoming more frequent. Climate change has a huge part in most fatalities during natural disasters. Though people are effected, agriculture is greatly effected as well. From 2005-2015 the total economic loss has been around $1.3 trillion. This gives people less money for food, clothing, homes, and much more that would be required for the people in these areas to survive. Over a short time span of only 10 years, approximately 23 million people were made homeless because of the economic impact the natural disasters have made on these countries. The agriculture center is about 23% of the total impact caused by these natural disasters. Agriculture is greatly effected by these natural disasters but there is a way it can also help people with prevention techniques for the future. Practices may include teaching the farmers to grow crops that are very resilient and durable. AC Somonauk

unknown said...

Natural disasters impact communities and countries in a way that can cause the people living there to start over. Floods and storms can rip apart homes and destroy everything to a point where there is nothing but dirt. Agriculture is majorly impacted and I don't think people notice that. Droughts can make it so crops don't grow, animals die of thirst, and there is no water to use for hygienic reasons. Floods do the opposite, but they still cause disaster. They wash out crops, destroy homes, and can hurt animals and people. The thing about this is that sure, people can go and do disaster relief, but the help that people give does not always fix the problem. Is there anything that really can fix these problems? Because of agriculture, money can be made from selling and resources can be built back up in an attempt to lower the impact. Agriculture is the source of many things including food, clothes, shelter, medicine, etc.; Renewing these things can help in disasters like these. A method that can help decrease the amount of damage from natural disasters could be growing in an elevated spot if possible. Natural disasters such as floods are going to destroy things that are lower as long as the water level does not raise too high; crops can be salvaged easier. In the case of drought, growing in a lower place would be helpful since the remaining moisture is further down in the ground. People know that these things happen everyday and that seems to make them think that it can not be fixed in any way, but others who are fortunate to not have life changing disasters could help in some way and do not realize it. -E.D. Somonauk

cory gustafson said...

Its interesting how technology can prevent cows from getting tuberculosis.

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