has anyone here ever been in a major natural disaster?
If so, how did it affect you? (don't need to post if it is too upsetting to talk about it)
I have, it is described in this wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra_bushfires .
I didnt loose anything in those fires, but it was still very scarey. I remember that I was watching a documentary talking about an outbreak of a disease somewhere in the US a while back (cant remember what it was), and that at the end was talking about how there could always be another disease that could have major effects (this was around the time when the SARS outbreak was still happening, so that line at the end of the show stuck in my mind).
At the end of it, I looked outside and noticed that the sky was far too dark for the time of day it was (just after midday in the middle of summer, and it looked dark enough to be sunset). Upon turning on a radio, I learnt that it was because of a major bushfire that was in canberra. We spent a whole lot of time doing the proper stuff like filling the bathtub with water, watering down the gutters to protect against embers and stuff. I remember that I was inside turning things off at the power points off when we lost the electricity. Thankfully we still had a phone that was able to be powered by the phone lines.
It got real scarey when the fire was climbing the opposite side of mount taylor (fires climb hills covered in eucalyptus trees very quickly), it sounded like a jet engine's roar. There were also sparks at times that were either from power poles, or from static electricity in the smoke. It was very scarey when it reached the top of the hill as we coud see it from our house, but thankfully, that was when it started to die out, as firestorms have difficulty going downhill.
We had the car ready and waiting in case we had to leave (though my mother has said that the experiance that we had made her say that we would have already left if she had known the stuff about how the fires act), but we didnt need to go. The sky started to get a little lighter just before the sun went down (there was enough smoke that you could look at where the sun was directly). Our only information was from worried family calling to make sure we were ok, and our raido after it was over, and a small battery powered tv. The next day, a number of people from some of the houses near us had lunch at a niegbours house (just as a getting to know everyone thing). there was also the owner from a nearby corner store giving out all the icecreams from his store as they were already in a state where they would not be able to be sold even if they froze again right away.
I went with my mum to get some ice to keep our fridge and freezer cold, but it was not needed as power was being restored when we were out.
So all in all, that day was one of the scarriest in my life.