Harleysville, PA: According to The Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards, hail storms (zone 3), winter storms (zone 0), and tornadoes (zone 3) are all possible natural hazards that could occur in my hometown, but these hazards are pretty unlikely. This data was difficult to collect because of how hard the map was to read. The map was difficult to read because it included a key with minimal information, small font, and none of the regionals were labeled on the map. If the maps were clearer when you zoomed in, contained labeling, or were more interactive they would be more user friendly. This map would be more helpful if we were researching world, geographic region, or continent’s natural hazards instead.
The emergency event I selected was the Biological Hazard in Florence Italy on March 5th 2016. The biological hazard involved an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis C. This type of disaster could happen in my hometown since it is a biological hazard. This lack of proper education on the importance of vaccination could potentially lead to an outbreak of any type of bacterial or viral disease. Health officials reported a dozen cases and 4 deaths of meningococcal meningitis C. The population of Tuscany is over 3.5 million people and spreads nearly 9,000 miles. Overall, Pennsylvania holds very low vulnerability to natural hazards. The population and size of my hometown and even my county is much smaller than that of Tuscany, by millions of people and thousands of miles. If this disaster were to occur in my hometown, at the same scale, it would be cause a greater impact than in Tuscany. Even though it would have a greater impact, it wouldn’t affect the resilience of my community because majority of the community is educated about vaccinations and have the money and ability to prevent the spread of the disease. The majority of the population in Harleysville, PA ranged from middle class to upper middle class. These categories of people would be less likely to be vulnerable to infection due to already being vaccinated for a disease, such as meningitis. There is some poverty in my community, and the members of this social class would be more likely to contract these diseases due to lack of wealth and education. If an outbreak of disease were to break out among the lower income portions of my community, it is more likely that the disease would be spread amongst the community. To prevent this, education about vaccination, school requirements for vaccinations, and the offering to provide vaccination would greatly help to reduce the spreading of bacterial and viral biological hazards in my hometown.
According to the Emergency Preparedness Guide for the Residents of Montgomery County, which is the county that Harleysville is located in, the different types of possible emergencies are severe weather such as blizzard and winter storms, tornadoes, flash floods, thunderstorms, fires, earthquakes and landslides (Steven Wittmer). The county can also face threats such as biological, chemical, and radiological, and an Influenza pandemic. In my personal experience, my hometown experiences flash floods, winter storms, thunderstorms, fires, and Influenza pandemic hazards the most. In Harleysville, there are a lot of streams and rives that can flood pretty easily. Because of this, I would say flash flooding is probably the most common hazard my community faces yearly. (http://www.pennsburg.us/MontCoEmergency.pdf)
Actions that can be done in my local community in order to reduce vulnerably to natural hazards rely on education, technology, having emergency response crews’ ready, and pre-event preparedness. By having improved technology along with proper pre-event preparedness, my community would be better informed of potential natural hazards as proper technology to alert and prepare people for in case of emergencies. For example, by being able to predict and track weather storms, members of the community will have more warning and information about winter storms. By providing early knowledge of storms, people would be able to purchase the proper supplies to make it through the storm. The best people to preform these actions would be meteorologists and news medias. If meteorologist work with the public news, it is easy for news stories about potential bad weather to spread the message. I can help by making sure my family is prepared for unexpected, but potential natural disasters.