Identification and selection of a specific natural disaster
The disaster chosen is a hurricane. Hurricanes normally carry wind from large water bodies and bring their impact to land near them. This therefore means that any place that is near an ocean has the possibility of experiencing a hurricane. ( Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 2007). They are prone to storms, excessive rain and generally bad weather conditions. IUB is located near a water body i. e. it is a coastal area which is scientifically disadvantaged as compared to other regions in the country.
There is a 50% chance that a hurricane will occur in this area within a span of 7 years. . (Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 2007) Another reason why a hurricane is quite likely to occur is the fact that history has told that tale before around Monroe County. In 1989, one of the worst hurricanes occurred in Florida called Hurricane Hugo. 3 years later, it was followed by Hurricane Andrew which left nearby counties with numerous economic and social losses. The latter hurricane went down in record books. It had a wind speed of about 139 miles per hour and caused 23 deaths.
Alongside these deaths, it also caused damage to some houses, it also destroyed other houses not forgetting the businesses that had to be closed hence resulting in a big step backward for the business owner. In addition to what has been occurring in history, one must also look at the technological capability of the region in terms of weather predictions. One can only predict a hurricane 4 days in advance. This means that preparations ought to be done beforehand in order to avoid the last minute rush after an announcement. In light of the above reasons, a hurricane is definitely a disaster which the areas around IUB ought to be prepared for
Section 2 – IUB vulnerability factors. IUB possesses plenty of facilities that are controlled by numerous individuals. This means that if a hurricane was to strike anywhere within its premises, a lot of losses will be incurred. The university has many buildings that are used as classrooms. If these buildings were to be destroyed, then the university will have to spend so much on rebuilding and this will put a stop to the learning process for students within the university. Other buildings are used for conducting seminars and other meetings that may not necessarily include the student population alone but also the surrounding community.
There are plenty of businesses within IUB and most of them might be destroyed if a hurricane was to strike the region. This will result in a halt of vital services offered by the businessmen. It will also result in financial damage to those individuals who are driving the economy of the community. There are plenty of other important facilities in the university that include; libraries- sources of information and knowledge to students. Hostel facilities that are considered homes for most of the students, not forgetting staff members in the university who also have their homes located in those areas.
Lastly, a hurricane would destroy research facilities like laboratories which are centers of creativity not just within the community but also for the entire country. Members of the university that can be affected by a disaster of this magnitude include students whose original homes maybe miles and miles away. This is a loss to the country’s economy because most of the students are young, energetic and can be very responsible members of the community. Staff members may also be affected by the hurricane causing huge psychological damage to their relatives and friends.
Time and time again the university is flooded with people who are not real members of the university. They maybe visitors i. e. students friends and family, or people who have come for business and academics. A hurricane could result in the loss of these people’s lives or cause injury coupled with other health complications. Protective measures that can be taken include increasing the experts that will be used to asses the kind of wind resistance in buildings within the university. Buildings should all fall within the stipulated wind speed i. e. 116 miles per hour.
Roofs are supposed to conform to a specific standard. They should be strong enough to withstand windstorms. In case these buildings do not conform to designated standards, then they should be renovated or put down. Also if buildings are being put up then structural engineers must ensure that they conform to required wind resisting abilities. Another way in which the University can prepare itself is by changing the design of new buildings to become wind resistant. Section 3 – Risk Assessment of the Threat The area is located near a water body. Geological analysis shows that tropical regions are risk prone.
These risks maybe hurricanes, tornados or storms. The reason for this being that wind comes from the ocean increases in magnitude as it reaches the main land and acquires a very high wind speed. (Institute for business and Home Safety, 2007) If a hurricane strikes, the University is relatively prepared for such a disaster because it contains buildings that have reasonable resistance to windstorms. This does not mean that all the buildings are actually safe. In fact, the people who may suffer the most if a strong hurricane strikes are the business people located within the campus premises.
Most of them may not have checked their structures to ensure conformity to international standards. If a hurricane like Hurricane Andrew strikes the university. People will loose jobs because there are teachers, staff members and businessmen who depend upon the facilities in the university yet these very facilities can be easily destroyed by a hurricane of that magnitude. Students would loose their partial homes; they would also loose the opportunity to continue with their studies since their classrooms will have been destroyed.
It could take a while before the university repairs the damage caused thus changing a large number of people’s lives. Section 4 – Conclusion The possibility of the occurrence of a hurricane in the Monroe region is quite real. This is attributed to its geographical location and its historical events. Since the university is a large institution, there will be a very huge impact on its population if a hurricane was to strike without adequate preparation. These will be economic, social, psychological and educational. However, if people within the university can be educated on what to do during such an occurrence then the risk can be managed.
Education can be done through teaching the staff about what is required of them. In addition, home owners within the university can be informed about what is the importance of having/living in a windstorm resistant house. The university can also work with other government initiatives life the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency to inculcate the culture of disaster preparedness among members of the University. Students can also be informed about how to evacuate from buildings when the disaster occurs.
They need to be in possession of supplies ranging from blankets, spotlights, and other important items in their kits. (The American Red Cross, 2007) They need to know how to get a boat, trim shrubs around their homes, posses portable light and reinforce structures.
If all this is put in place then the University can safely say that it has managed the disaster. (The Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2007) Reference Independent websites Florida counties (2007); Tropical storms and Hurricanes; retrieved from http://www. keysso. net/pio/tropical : accessed on 7th November 2007.
The Institute for business and home safety – Hurricane Winds (2007); retrieved from http://www. ibhs. org/property_protection: accessed on 7th November 2007 Government website The Federal Emergency Management Agency (2007); how to guides for protecting your property from flooding and high winds; retrieved from http://www. fema. gov/plan/prevent/howto/index. shtm#4 : accessed on 7th November 2007 NGO Website The American Red Cross (2007); Be Prepared – American Red Cross Preparedness Information retrieved from; http://www. redcross. org/services/disaster/; accessed on 7th November 2007.