Natural Disasters and Calamities

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
Post Reply
KevinS
Posts: 4157
Joined: April 7th, 2019, 8:32 am
Contact:

Post by KevinS » September 20th, 2019, 3:58 pm

I just learned last night that a very good friend survived the hurricane that struck the Bahamas. He and his lady friend are sailing about but stopped at a small island (cay?) off Abaco and have made a home there of sorts. I had no idea of this and have learned indirectly that they were there for the worst of the storm. (I assumed the whole time that they had sailed north, far north.)

I also just recorded a chapter about Clara Barton, a heroine who helped found the American Red Cross. It was inspiring.

So, to get to my point, I wondered if a collection of accounts of various incidents like the San Francisco Earthquake, the Chicago Fire (and terrible fire blazing at the same time in Wisconsin), Mississippi flooding, etc. would be of interest. Remembering how fragile are our lives and property, I think, makes us more willing to be of help to others, even if at a distance. And perhaps we invest in living our own lives more fully.

Here's one example. It may not be the best example, as it is a bit ghoulish in its account, but it does serve as an example of what could be done. In this specific case, a chapter might be selected and recorded.

https://archive.org/details/completestoryof00ever/page/n6
"E agora, José?"

commonsparrow3
Posts: 2544
Joined: January 17th, 2013, 9:16 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Post by commonsparrow3 » September 20th, 2019, 7:47 pm

Oh, my! I hope your friends managed to sail out of danger!
My boss's in-laws live in Puerto Rico and they were caught up in Hurricane Maria, and I remember how worried she was at that time.
And I have a niece in Oklahoma who has had a few near-misses with tornadoes.
Between floods, storms, fires, and earthquakes, it seems that we all know somebody who has been caught up in such things.
(I feel very grateful that Mother Nature is fairly tame here in western NY State, other than an occasional ice storm or snowstorm.)

As you remarked, many of the available older PD accounts of natural disasters tend to exaggerate the sensational and ghoulish, so it takes some careful searching to locate sources that are more in the realm of factual reporting. I was involved in two projects here at LV about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. One was a book written shortly after the fire by a couple of San Francisco business men (A History of the Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco). And the other was a collection of newspaper articles written by reporters for the San Francisco newspapers during the three days the fire was burning (The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire as Reported in the Newspapers of that City). Another LV project, about the 1871 Chicago Fire, used two short pamphlets, one written by an insurance company, and the other written by a relief committee (The Great Chicago Fire). Also, TriciaG put together a group project to record the 2006 US Government Report on Hurricane Katrina (A Failure of Initiative: Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina).

So it is certainly possible to find material on natural disasters which is less sensational and more factual. It just takes a bit of searching, but it's out there!

annise
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 31828
Joined: April 3rd, 2008, 3:55 am
Location: Melbourne,Australia

Post by annise » September 21st, 2019, 6:25 pm

There's another one in our catalogue about a dam bursting
I'd have to say personally I am not in general keen on extracting individual chapters to make a colllection unless they stand alone. By that I mean if say it was a book called great American Natural Disasters, then a chapter on the Chicago fire would be fine , or if the collection was about fire brigades , a chapter from the same book that was called "How the Fire Brigade responded" would be fine , but if the collection was about the Chicago Fire, a chapter from a book called "the Chicago Fire" would not be.

Anne

KevinS
Posts: 4157
Joined: April 7th, 2019, 8:32 am
Contact:

Post by KevinS » September 21st, 2019, 6:45 pm

annise wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 6:25 pm
There's another one in our catalogue about a dam bursting
I'd have to say personally I am not in general keen on extracting individual chapters to make a colllection unless they stand alone. By that I mean if say it was a book called great American Natural Disasters, then a chapter on the Chicago fire would be fine , or if the collection was about fire brigades , a chapter from the same book that was called "How the Fire Brigade responded" would be fine , but if the collection was about the Chicago Fire, a chapter from a book called "the Chicago Fire" would not be.

Anne
I tend to agree with you. As an example, I found a book about the Chicago fire that has an addendum about the Peshtigo Fire which happened the same day but farther north in Wisconsin. I`m planning on recording it because it is, as you say, a stand-alone chapter. I hope to include it in the Short Non-fiction thread.
"E agora, José?"

KevinS
Posts: 4157
Joined: April 7th, 2019, 8:32 am
Contact:

Post by KevinS » September 21st, 2019, 6:49 pm

commonsparrow3 wrote:
September 20th, 2019, 7:47 pm
Oh, my! I hope your friends managed to sail out of danger!
My boss's in-laws live in Puerto Rico and they were caught up in Hurricane Maria, and I remember how worried she was at that time.
And I have a niece in Oklahoma who has had a few near-misses with tornadoes.
Between floods, storms, fires, and earthquakes, it seems that we all know somebody who has been caught up in such things.
(I feel very grateful that Mother Nature is fairly tame here in western NY State, other than an occasional ice storm or snowstorm.)

...

So it is certainly possible to find material on natural disasters which is less sensational and more factual. It just takes a bit of searching, but it's out there!
I looked it up and the most common weather-related fatalities in my part of Wisconsin are from the cold. I don`t know if that means freezing to death or what.

And thank you for the perspective on what has been done already on LibriVox!
"E agora, José?"

Post Reply