Module 8- Vulnerability Reduction

Using the Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards I identified some of the natural hazards my town faces based on the zone it is located in.  I noticed that a lot of the zones that were higher than others my town fell onto was mainly because I live in a state that is on the coast of the United States.  I noticed that the lowest zones my town fell under was zone 0 for earthquakes, zone 1 for extratropical storms and zone 1 for wildfires.  The higher zones that South Brunswick fell under include zone 3 for tropical cyclones, which makes a lot of sense considering New Jersey is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.  Other zones that are a bit higher for South Brunswick include zone 2 for hailstorms and zone 3 for tornados.  Overall, the Nathan map was not best suited for this type of task considering that the quality of the map was blurry and it was difficult to tell where certain zones ended and started.  However I believe it is a great way to tell which places fall in which zones.  Especially considering that most natural hazards occur on a global scale.

The natural hazard I chose to discuss is an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.5 in Tocopilla, Chile.  The east coast in the United States is not known for having a large number of earthquakes especially significantly powerful ones.  So in retrospect, my hometown located in central New Jersey, in a zone 0, most likely could not experience the same type of disaster therefore, the risk is significantly lower than Chile’s risk which is in a zone 3 or 4 for earthquakes. The scale of this particular disaster would be very large for my hometown however in this particular place it is not very large compared to the location it took place in.  The severity of the earthquake would actually be very similar to the severity in Chile considering the description of the earthquake explained that the earthquake was not even felt by any of the population and they were only ably to track the earthquake.  Since tall buildings are more affected by smaller earthquakes the section of South Brunswick that would be affected the most would be the apartment buildings and hotels, they would be the most affected by this earthquake.

There are not many serious natural hazards in my town often but I would say the most likely to occur would be either a hurricane or some type of minor flooding.  The event that I do clearly remember being a very large natural hazard is Hurricane Sandy.  Although we do get a decent amount of rain none of them would account for a natural hazard, but Sandy was something else.  According to the Tropical Cyclone Report, Hurricane Sandy by Eric S. Blake and others, Hurricane Sandy had a secondary peak in New Jersey which although was in Atlantic City, gives you an idea about the type of damage it did to places closer to central New Jersey.  Although it did not cause any extreme and major damage to my town the towns power was out for over a week and there was flooding on lots of major roads.

In order to reduce vulnerability in the town of South Brunswick it would make sense to have more professionals that understand how to sustain development and be able to withstand natural hazards.  According to Alberto Uribe in order to reduce vulnerability there has to be a concerned public which includes “institutionally organized group that is adequately staffed and trained to understand natural hazards.  I know that South Brunswick does not have adequate number of people studying natural hazards and definitely not enough people that know what to do when they hit South Brunswick.  It would be very helpful to have a larger group of properly trained individuals leading South Brunswick when it is faced with natural hazards.

Blake, Eric S. “Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Sandy.” N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.

Uribe, Alberto. “Reducing Vulnerability to Natural Hazards: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Mitch A Strategy Paper on Environmental Management.” Inter-American Development Bank, n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.

3 thoughts on “Module 8- Vulnerability Reduction

  1. Hi Sabrina! My name is Shanda! Here’s a link to my blog

    I’m from Pittsburgh, which is also Western PA. I talked about minor flooding in my hometown this week, because it is a major issue in my part of the city. I can’t imagine anything as disastrous as Hurricane Sandy, but I can relate to the struggles that happen with too much water. I’m really glad that Hurricane Sandy didn’t affect your part of town too much!!!!!

  2. Sabrina, I really enjoyed reading your post. I think you did a great job! Your town is similar to mine and very unlikely to face devastating natural disasters. The best thing we can do for a natural disaster is to be prepared. Imagine is hurricane Sandy had hit with no warning. The effects would have been much greater because no one was prepared.
    Please refer to my blog:

  3. Hi Sabrina,
    Similar to you, my hometown in Western Pa is unlikely to face many severe natural disasters. We do get some flooding and tornado warnings, but it’s usually nothing too dangerous. The fact that you are along the coast really increases your chances of hurricane after-effects. I think it would be great if your town could devote more time and people into studying what to do when natural disasters hit.
    You can look at my blog here:

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