Tom Devenney Module 8 Learning Activity

My hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania is in an area of the world with low risk of natural disasters. According to the Nathan map, Lititz is in the second lowest risk zone for hailstorms, extratropical storms, and tornados. It is in zone 1 for wildfires, which indicates that there is low risk of them occurring there. During El Nino, Lititz experiences warmer weather and fewer tropical storms, according to the Nathan map. During La Nina, Lititz experiences more tropical storms. The Nathan map also indicates a rise of 0.3-0.5 degrees celsius per decade and an increase of 0-15 percent for precipitation per decade. In my lifetime, very few hailstorms, extratropical storms, and tornados have affected my home. Also, wildfires have not been reported in my area since I have been able to remember. This is why I find the Nathan map to be very well suited for my hometown.

The natural hazard that I have identified on the RSOE website is a volcanic eruption in Mexico. According to the website, no one was injured or killed, and the affected area is not explicitly stated. Other information on volcanic eruptions states that the affected area may be as far as 10 kilometers away. Lititz occupies a total area of 2.3 square miles, or 3.7 square kilometers. If there was an eruption in the center of Lititz, everything and everyone would be wiped out. Even if the eruption was very small, many people would be killed and many buildings destroyed. A lot of the human factors that affect surviving volcanic eruptions are due to the preparedness of the people. Wealth would help people to be able to purchase insurance policies to contribute after they lose goods. It would also help residents to have access to news outlets, television, and cars to help evacuate. Education level would help residents to be able to understand the messages that governing bodies would produce in the event of an evacuation. Strong governance would help if they would hire geologists and other scientists to monitor volcanic activity, and they would have the resources to inform residents that they need to evacuate. The geologists and other scientists would need to have technological resources to be able to tell if they need to inform governing bodies of volcanic activity. Age and gender would be less of a factor in this situation, because this situation requires the residents to be able to evacuate, which each resident would be able to do given proper notice.

The assessment that I will provide is based on my own knowledge and information from the website listed below. According to the website, Lancaster County is at a higher risk for tornados than is most of the rest of the country. Other major natural hazards that affect Lancaster are floods, hailstorms, and winter storms. In my experience, flooding occurs on a regular basis, as do hailstorms. Depending on the year, winter storms may be a huge hazard. When my mother was pregnant with me, she could not leave our home because snow had accumulated to over four feet in the course of one blizzard. Four feet of snow could be very dangerous, taking out telephone poles, causing a lot of property damage and the potential for major injuries and deaths.

“Lancaster, PA Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes.” – USA.com™. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://www.usa.com/lancaster-pa-natural-disasters-extremes.htm#EarthquakeIndex>.

 

Examples of pre-event preparedness would be contractors building basements for tornados, building levees to prevent flooding around river and stream areas, building hail-resistant roofing on buildings, and building strong roofing and supports to reduce blizzard and wind damage.  Meteorologists should be responsible for notifying residents. Emergency response in each of these cases would involve keeping fuel and electricity, transportation, telecommunication, and clean water available. This would involve government workers. Also, shelters, water, and food should be available to anyone affected by the natural hazard. The local government and charities should organize this. Post-event recovery and reconstruction should be handled by charities, friends and family of those affected, and by insurance companies that are responsible for paying back what was lost in the hazard. What I can do is hire contractors to prepare my home, have a plan, and keep an eye out for warnings.

1 thought on “Tom Devenney Module 8 Learning Activity

  1. Hello! My name is Kayla, here is the link to my own blog post if you wanted to take a look:
    http://geog030.dutton.psu.edu/2016/04/01/kayla-crestani-module-8-learning-assignment/

    Like you, I also talked about the Nathan World Map although my experience with it was a little different that yours as I didn’t find it helpful when looking for natural disasters in my hometown. I did, however agree that pre-event preparedness would be helpful in reducing vulnerability. I also talked about how meteorologists could contribute and work to notify people of hazardous weather conditions sooner. It seems that winter storms seem to be as much of a problem in your hometown as they are in mine. Overall, great blog post!

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