Sara Getson Module 8- Tuscany, Italy

1. Since I actually live in State College, I looked on the Nathan map for the Eastern US. In areas slightly inland from the coast, as I would describe State College judging by the map scale, there is a high chance of heavy rain and tropical cyclones. Hailstorms, tornadoes, and wildfires do not pose a significant threat. During El Nino, storms occur less frequently and the weather is warmer, conversely during La Nina there is an increase in storms. This map is fairly good at estimating these phenomena; however it does not take into account the particularities of the region such as mountain ranges and other more local aspects of the area.

2. From the Hungarian map, I chose a disaster in Tuscany, Italy. There has been noted a biological hazard in that region killing 4 people, the hazard being a Meningococcal meningitis C outbreak. This type of hazard would be possible in State College since it is caused by bacteria when entering the bloodstream, although it has been mostly observed in areas in Europe.

The total population of Tuscany is 3,749,430 which, since it is an entire region, is significantly larger than that of State College which is roughly 100,000, consequently 4 casualties from this outbreak amounts to about 1000th of a percent of the Tuscan population.  For the State College population that would amount to maybe one person, if that.

Individuals who are more vulnerable to this disease, are those with weak immune systems and young children. Ways in which this might be aided would be to encourage people not to touch their faces since the bacteria are spread by contact and then entry into the blood stream. Also increase immune system health in the community through healthy nutrition.

3. From personal experience and talking with my parents who have lived in State College for the past 25 years, I have ascertained that State College is indeed very susceptible to heavy rains at times, ice storms, and strong winds. These may sometimes lead to power outages, trees falling, car accidents, and many other hazards.

4. In order to decrease the number of power outages due to trees falling over in strong winds and storms, we could potentially move power lines away from areas where there are many trees. Other than that, we can really only prepare for the worst by making sure we have adequate storm drainage to prevent flooding and fast reacting teams to handle trees and power issues.

These issues are best brought to the attention of the town supervisors and mayor so that they can ensure that funding and organization go toward these areas.

As for me, I can make sure that my house is prepared for such disasters. Making sure there is a generator in case of an outage, as well as lights and perhaps water collection units for some of the storm water. Ensuring that the basement of the house is protected is also an important aspect.

1 thought on “Sara Getson Module 8- Tuscany, Italy

  1. Hi Sara, my name is Sabrina and my blog post can be found at http://geog030.dutton.psu.edu/2016/04/01/module-8-vulnerability-reduction-5/ . Although I do not live in central Pennsylvania and live in New Jersey I can connect with the idea that State College gets a lot of rain as my hometown in New Jersey does as well. I have often wondered about the power line system not only in Pennsylvania, but the United States as a whole, considering all of our power lines are above ground as opposed to other countries. The power lines, as you said cause more danger especially when placed within groupings of trees causing them to fall. I find that to be a very relevant issue and think that it is definitely an issue that should be pursued.

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