Module Eight: Vulnerability Reduction

  1. For this assignment I used my hometown of Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania. Hunlock Creek is located in Luzerne County in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Increases in heavy rainfall and the possibility of an occasional tropical storm or hurricane exist. While in Zone Two in regard to tornadoes, scattered mountains will likely prevent any such occurance. The Susquehanna River often floods neighboring towns which are not as elevated as Hunlock Creek. While the Nathan Map is well suited to identify broad events like climate change, things like flooding and landslides typically depend on an area’s specific physical geography.
  2. My chosen natural disaster is an M 6.0 earthquake off the coast of Shingu, Japan. It is unlikely for my hometown to experience such a strong earthquake. The tectonic plates below Pennsylvania are considered to be stable. Certain plate boundaries around the world are indicative of seismic activity. The Appalachian Mountain region is not one of these locations. This earthquake occurred at sea, but would cause a reasonable amount of damage in my hometown. Old structures would likely be destroyed, in addition to a few injuries. Wealth, technology and education are all low points for my hometown, so residents would definitely become more statistically vulnerable in these areas. Additionally, the elderly and young children of my town would be more vulnerable. Wealthy people and those with newer homes would be most well equipped to handle a strong earthquake. Home and land inspections would greatly reduce the risk of human injury in the case of an earthquake.
  3. From personal experience and concepts I’ve learned in physical geography, Hunlock Creek is a very safe place to live. Occasionally, snowfall will reach a hazardous level. Staying off the road and wearing warm clothes are simple solutions. Ultisol soils are not prone to erosion and small mountains shield the town from tornadoes. Lightning in the warmer months will often affect powerlines and knock over trees. Placing structures in safe locations relative to trees and powerlines is an easy preventative measure. Flash floods sometimes occur, but can be avoided with drainage techniques. Other than strong winds from a hurricane making its way up the coast, Hunlock Creek is fairly safe, Although not technically a natural disaster, a nuclear powerplant is around 15 miles away from my hometown. The recommended distance to avoid a nuclear disaster is 50 miles (NRDC).
  4. Inspection of infrastructure and homes for quality issues would reduce vulnerability to natural hazards in Hunlock Creek. This could be done by professionals working in private industry and paid for by homeowners or taxes. I can’t morally do much for people who don’t believe in climate change and are willing to vote for Donald Trump. In the next few years, I would like to test water quality and flow patterns from all of streams in Hunlock Creek. This could potentially highlight flood areas and alert homeowners of contaminants in drinking water.
“Minimize Harm and Security Risks of Nuclear Energy.” NRDC. 2016. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

2 thoughts on “Module Eight: Vulnerability Reduction

  1. Tyler, I enjoyed reading your post. Living in Pennsylvania we don’t face as serious natural disasters as some one living in Louisiana with a chance of hurricanes. I agree that inspection of homes could reduce vulnerability to natural hazards. Also, power outages are a natural disaster common to many towns. These could be prevented by moving trees away from power lines.
    Please refer to my blog:

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