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Is Friday the 13th Really a Recipe For Disaster?

November 13, 2020 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Calling all triskaidekaphobics – Friday the 13th is here once again. While one shouldn’t believe every superstition as the cause of misfortune, there’s no denying that some alarming disasters have been tied to this “cursed” date.

For one thing, the economy tends to take a hit on Friday the 13th. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, $700-$800 million is lost on the day because of people afraid to shop, travel, or conduct business (and those were pre-coronavirus numbers). Anxiety is a potential factor in the tendency for increased car accidents, too.

But it’s also a day for truly unpredictable weather, including:

  • A record-breaking 25 inches of rain over Kansas on July 13, 1951, flooding more than two million acres of land, and damaging oil tanks, some of which caught fire and exploded
  • A 2006 October Blizzard in Buffalo, NY, leaving 300,000 without power, and
  • The Bhola cyclone that hit Bangladesh on Nov. 13, 1970 – the deadliest storm in the Bay of Bengal to this day.

It may also cause some to reconsider their travel plans:

  • On June 13, 1952, a Swedish flight disappeared over the Baltic, never to be seen again
  • On the same day as the infamous Flight 571 that crash-landed in the Andes, a private jet in Russia crashed (possibly due to a lightning strike) just three miles from the runway, and
  • The Costa Concordia became the largest passenger ship ever to sink on Jan. 13, 2012, with almost double the passenger list of the Titanic.

While these are freak accidents that are pretty hard to prepare for, there’s one we already know about that resilience professionals should keep a wary eye on: An asteroid is scheduled to come within 22,000 miles of the Earth on April 13, 2029, and its gravitational effects could create a number of related problems.