There must have been a recent storm and flood that destroyed some homes while others remained standing that drew Jesus to make a spiritual application. He said in Matthew 7:24-27,
"Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come, and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash." (New Living Translation)
Common disasters are sudden and community wide, like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fire, and tornado. But, they also happen on a personal level like robbery, a sudden illness, or death of a loved one. This calls attention to physical destruction: bodily injury, death, collapsed homes, loss of property, and broken infrastructure.
Disasters also slow onset such as drought, disease, famine, hatred, and erosion of trust and truth.
What is not seen in all disasters is the hurting hearts of the people. When people lose hope, it points to the spiritual foundation of their lives. This what Jesus was referring to in this closing illustration of the Sermon on the Mount. The example of his life, his teaching, and his sacrifice for the sin and suffering in the world points to a rock, a solid foundation upon which to build our lives that sustains us in all kinds of disasters.