1:4 - The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.
God uses all manner of things to bring us back to His will. It may be that God uses a general event that affects a number of people to bring us back to alignment with Him. Local disasters, national catastrophes, and regional events all fall into this category.
1:5 - Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.
We are often oblivious (or hard hearted) to the general event to the point of ignoring the implications or guidance that God provides from it.
1:6 - So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.”
If we discount or ignore the general event, God will start targeting more specific events designed to turn us from our own path back to His. God will often us the ungodly to shame/move His people into action. At this point, God is still acting from the positive side of entreating His wayward child to return.
As pressure comes from the Lord, He uses a variety of tools to, in this case literally, wake up His servants to obey His will. This pressure can be a general trial or local event that affects many and causes many to turn to the Lord or it can be somewhat more specific to the targeted individual.