What are the major differences between traditional hazards like wildfires and terrorist related hazards like the gas attack on the Toyko Subway?

Expert Answers
marymuiruri eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Traditional hazards are disasters that are beyond human control. The several hurricanes that have happened in the US in the past few weeks are traditional hazards that are generally related to climate changes. The residents of the areas that were affected by the hurricanes had been given several warnings about what could happen to them, their properties, and the surrounding environment. To a large extent, residents had time to prepare for the traditional hazard, which has left a lot of damage in the areas affected. Some residents had to be evacuated, others had to stock a lot of food and other essential commodities, and others had already left before the hurricanes hit their areas.

Terrorist hazards, on the other hand, are man-made and usually planned for a long time by the attackers before they happen. On August 7, 1998, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, was attacked by terrorists who killed over 200 innocent people. In a terrorist hazard, people are totally unaware of the attacks, and they cannot prepare to defend themselves.

During the August 7, 1998, bomb attack, people were busy at the US Embassy and the surrounding offices. The terrorist hazard came as a big shock without prior warning. All the victims were caught totally unaware. The US Ambassador to Kenya was attending a meeting in a nearby office and suffered injuries in the process of being moved to safety.

Based on the two cases, while both hazards cause a lot of damage, traditional hazards are predictable, and people have time to prepare for the aftermath. Terrorist hazards are unpredictable and sometimes cause more damage because people feel helpless in their ability to prepare for the attacks.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This a great question. There are many differences between traditional hazards like natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Let me name a few of them.

First and most importantly, terrorist attacks are immoral and evil. This is to say that terrorist attacks are premeditate to create fear and as much destruction as possible, such as the attacks on 911. It is rooted in hate and the worst of humanity. When it comes to natural disasters, there is nothing immoral about them. Natural disasters might cause more damage and death, but it is a natural part of life.

Second, with terrorist attacks, people cannot really prepare for them. Terrorists attack whem people least expect them. With natural disasters, there usually are some warning signs. For example, in earthquake areas, structures are fortified in a special way. There are also national agency that seek to bring relief and the like.


ekabu254 | Student

This is an important question considering the rise of terrorist activities across the world. There are several differences between traditional hazards like wildfires and terrorist hazards like the 9/11 attack. I will address two main differences between these types of hazards. 

First, people and governments can prepare for natural hazards such as hurricanes because they have warning signs. Through weather forecasts and other meteorological expert information, people can anticipate and adequately prepare for weather-related disasters. For example, the government can evacuate people and move them to higher grounds if flooding is predicted. Contrarily, terrorist-related hazards are difficult to prepare for because they occur unexpectedly. Terrorists often plan and execute their missions when no one expects. 

Second, terrorist activities like the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. and Manchester bombing in the U.K. are evil deeds that immoral humans plan and accomplish. They are based on hate and misguided ideologies. On the other hand, traditional hazards like earthquakes occur as a result of natural causes and are not evil in nature because they do not involve human intervention.  

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