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Natural hazards

Review your understanding of natural hazards in this free article aligned to NGSS standards.

Key points

  • A natural hazard is any natural event that poses a risk to humans or the environment. Examples of natural hazards include tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
  • Some natural hazards can be reliably predicted. For example, hurricanes are usually forecasted days in advance using satellites and other technology.
  • Other natural hazards are not yet predictable. For example, earthquakes occur suddenly and without warning.
  • Scientists are learning more about natural hazards every day. The knowledge they gain allows them to make better predictions and help communities be more prepared for future hazards.
A tornado.
A tornado in “Tornado Alley,” an area of the United States where tornadoes frequently occur. Image credit: Niccolò Ubalducci on Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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