8 – Vulnerability Reduction

My hometown that I analyzed in Module 7 is Wayne, PA. Being in North Eastern United States, the area itself is not susceptible to many natural disasters. There are no volcanoes, low probability of earthquakes and protection from high winds due to the Appalachian Mountain Range that goes up Eastern United States. Some disasters that are possibly are hail, heavier rain and tornadoes. That being said, after living there all my life before college the rains are very seasonal and I have never felt in “danger” from the amount of rain we would receive during storms. There have been tornado warnings but I’ve never actually heard of one forming. In general I think the Nathan map is well documented and probably backed up by a lot of research, but a smaller scale would be nice. Being able to even just look specifically at North America would allow me to see greater detail about the dangers in PA.

From RSOE EDIS: On April 04 2016 at 02:13 AM (UTC) there was a Biological Hazard in York, PA United States (EDIS Number: BH-20160404-52779-USA). There was a raccoon bite confirmed for Rabies. I realize on the scale of natural disasters this is an extremely small case, but it is extremely relevant to my hometown location and why I chose to cover this. Before moving out for college there were a few times I remember public posts going out to our area about when this would happen. Usually it wasn’t bites, but an update that a raccoon with Rabies was found and to remain alert incase others were infected. There was also a time when one was found acting strange during the day at my neighbors and they called the police because of it. Scale for this is the same in York, PA as in Wayne, PA. Raccoons are extremely common in PA and Rabies is nothing to play around with. It requires painful treatment and that may not even be enough sometimes. As mentioned above, when this happens in my area there is a public release that is generally made and the proper procedure for reporting it. I would say everyone is equally vulnerable to this. It generally happens during the day and if you’re outside theres no reason it couldn’t happen. That being said, I have never left my house in fear of a raccoon attack. If they were more common maybe, but like I said I remember only about 4 or 5 reports when living at home.

Going back to more grand-scale natural disasters that are possibly in my area, rain and flooding would be up there as the most possible. Wayne, PA is a few miles from the Schuylkill River and there are times where flooding is a threat. Wayne is far enough away from the river itself that direct flooding wouldn’t be an issue, but if the river overflows it serves as a catalyst for other possible threats at a smaller scale that affect the surrounding suburbs. I couldn’t find any direct research into flooding at such a small level of Wayne, PA, but from the Nathan map and personal experience this would definitely be the most “possible” natural disaster at a larger scale. There was also a time where our area felt the aftershock of an earthquake in Virginia, but thats the only time there has been a noticeable affect from an earthquake.

I think the best way for Wayne, PA to better its pre-event preparedness would focus on its Urban Planning to allow for better drainage during heavy rain seasons. Urban Planning could include adding more drains to the roads, focusing on the affects of runoff caused by high asphalt coverage, placing buildings strategically in regards to hills and general water travel and how to quickly drain areas that are especially prone to floods. The people responsible for these changes would be at a city level since its mostly urban planning and pre-event preparedness. Also faster ways to alert the general public could be introduced. I think introducing a texting service similar to AMBER alerts could be helpful during times of high rain and possible flooding.

1 thought on “8 – Vulnerability Reduction

  1. My name is Ralph (TJ) Diaz. I like your topic because I live in an area close to you, where I also don’t have to worry about too many forms of natural disasters. You can read about it at the following link: https://wp.me/p3RCAy-dyV. I also thought the usability of the Nathan maps was a little stunted by the way they decided to format the map. I think another notable potential natural disaster in your area is a large amount of snowfall that can potentially make driving impossible and houses cave in. This kind of snowfall has been occurring in our area at least once every decade and is increasing in frequency. I also think a system similar to AMBER alerts would be great for natural hazards.

Leave a Reply