Effects of Natural Disasters

How can humans and natural disasters affect ecosystems?

First of all, what are natural disasters?

These can include: Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and even more!

Humans can also cause some major damage to ecosystems if they aren't careful!

Effect #1

Physical damage to property and land.

When a disaster happens, the land looks much different afterward. Houses and buildings may be destroyed, trees can be torn down or uprooted, and even roads can be broken and destroyed!

Effect #2

Destruction of agriculture.

If farmers' crops are destroyed, there will not be enough food for us to eat! Or, if food has to be brought in from far away, the groceries will cost even more. :(

Effect #3

Serious injury or death!

If the natural disaster can be predicted, the government usually mandates an evacuation. People are asked to move away from their homes and businesses if they are in danger of being destroyed by weather. Most people leave, but the ones who don't...or can't...usually end up hurt.

Effect #4

Water and air pollution.

Debris and trash from the destruction will pollute the water. Especially in areas where hurricanes and floods hit.

Air pollution comes from forest fires and volcanic eruptions. Smoke and ash in the atmosphere can affect air quality. It can also affect the weather. And pollute the water supply (remember that water cycles through the atmosphere!)

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Effect #5

Economic effect (MONEY!!)

All of this damage costs money to replace! And a LOT of it! The government of the United States has emergency funding that can help aid areas that have damage from natural disasters. There are also agencies in our country that help people with finding places to stay if homes have been destroyed.

Your assignment!


Pretend that you are a news anchor. You are reporting on a natural disaster that has caused damage in your town. Focus on the damage done to the area, not the disaster. Talk about what the community will need to do to recover. Your video needs to be close to ONE MINUTE in length.