MODULE 8: Vulnerability Reduction

  1. From identifying on the Nathan National Disaster Map, I see that my region, Western Pennsylvania, faces low risks for wild fires and extratropical storms. From the map, we see that my region falls in zone 2 for hailstorms and tornados. When trying to find Pittsburgh on the map, I couldn’t really hone in on the specific area which I lived. I can kind of get the idea by just guessing, but I wish I had a better view of the map so that I could see just how susceptible I was to disaster. The map did an okay job giving me an idea of the likelihood of me experiencing which type of disaster, but I can’t really see PRECISELY I fall into each zone.
  1. By using the RSOE EDIS map, I chose to look at the disaster happening within Beijing, China. In Beijing, they are experiencing what is characterized as a biological hazard, which in this case is Yellow Fever Virus. The yellow fever virus was categorized as a medium biological hazard. After researching yellow virus, I don’t see it being a huge threat to the United States. Yellow Fever is predominantly in Africa and South America, with very few cases of Americans getting the virus unless they travel to an area which carries the infection. There is even a preventative vaccine to take so that if you get bit by a mosquito, you won’t get infected. Because of this, I would say it poses very low risk. Comparing Pittsburgh to Beijing is hard, because Beijing is such a small city. Though we can see that the threat for Yellow Fever was not that large since only 3 people were infected. In my town, it would be like 20-30 people getting sick, which would be a pretty serious threat. Because Yellow Fever is caused by an infection from a mosquito, I would imagine that people in Pittsburgh who live near the rivers and other small areas of water in the suburbs would be at a higher risk than the inner city.
  1. In my hometown, we get a lot of floods. Although they are natural disasters and occur frequently, they really do impede on the lives of the citizens that live in my city. The reason why Pittsburgh is so vulnerable to floods is because of our hill landscape. Although the lesson states Pennsylvania has low vulnerability, I would say that flooding is about the biggest problem that we face. Flooding is challenging to fix in general, but it is especially hard since a lot of the flooding plains are near/within neighborhoods.

  1. An effort to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards has already occurred in my city in the form of Post-event Recovery and Reconstruction. Pittsburgh has enacted a flood disaster tax which is supposed to cover the cost of if not most, all of the extensive damages caused by floods. I think a way to reduce vulnerability even more would be to extend the disaster recovery tax to all citizens, just in case something were to happen. For example, Pittsburgh gets very few tornadoes, but they do happen. Money would be helpful to fix siding on houses or car windows in the event of an unexpected tornado. I think that the local government would be the best to contact regarding this matter. They would be able to form a budget and vote to enact once it is approved. I can personally make people aware of our risks when it comes to natural disasters, helping spread awareness so that people are able to prepare properly.



2 thoughts on “MODULE 8: Vulnerability Reduction

  1. Hi Shanda, my name is Siying and here’s the link to my post:
    There’s one thing I need to correct you, Beijing is a big city with a population of 12 million people and it’s the capital city and political center of China, so I don’t think it’s small, not in population or area. In my hometown Guangzhou, we also experience flooding problems during typhoon season. But unlike Pittsburgh, the environmental reason for Guangzhou is that it’s at a relatively low terrain. And I think extending the coverage of disaster tax is a good way to help the city recover.

  2. Hello, my name is Madison Halbom and I also live in Pa. I live in the southeastern region of Pa however. I also had a similar struggle as to find natural disasters that occur in the state of Pa. I also came up with Hailstorms but the main problem I believe occurs in my area is tropical storms. My area was impacted by Hurricane sandy a few years ago. Check out my blog here

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