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Risk Management Essay

1383 words - 6 pages

Discuss the risk management of natural hazards using a range of examples to support your answer.
Natural hazard processes are an essential part of how Earth functions. These processes have been shaping the planet Earth for millions of years. In modern times risk management plans are a necessity because of the wide variety of natural disasters occurring all over the world. It is thought that because of the frequency and increase in severity of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tornadoes that the United States alone experiences an average loss of one billion dollars every week. (C. McMillan, 1998) Therefore it is obvious why a procedure of disaster preparedness, mitigation, ...view middle of the document...

”(D.P. Rao, 2002) This method has become a vital strategy in significantly reducing the risk of loss of life, injury, and reducing the economic cost due to natural disasters. Meteorologists have been using satellite images for monitoring storms for about thirty years.(D.P. Rao, 2002) “One of the most important applications in this endeavour is to determine the strength and intensity of a storm.” (D.P. Rao, 2002) The destructive power of tropical cyclones is manifested by strong winds, flooding and storm surges.
In particular, the Caribbean experiences a considerable amount of hurricanes. In late September 1998, Hurricane Georges travelled through the region, causing significant damage in St. Kitts and Nevis, including 85% of infrastructure. (A.M Guinard, 2001)The majority of the country’s schools and their main hospital, and almost half of the sugar crop was lost. Most tourist facilities were closed for about two months or more after the storm. Total losses were estimated at almost US$484 million. (A.M Guinard, 2001)In the Dominican Republic, over 200 people were killed by the storm. The majority of crops, in particular on small farms, were damaged, leaving many in need of food assistance. (A.M Guinard, 2001). Over half of the forests in the eastern half of the country were damaged.( A.M Guinard, 2001) Considerable losses of soil through flooding and erosion will have significant, long-term effects. (A.M Guinard, 2001) The monetary loss from direct and indirect damage in Haiti, valued at $180 million, was lower than in surrounding countries, yet an estimated 300,000 people lost everything they owned. Crops, livestock and agricultural infrastructure sustained significant damage, leading to food security concerns in the rural areas. Erosion and soil loss from deforested hillsides were substantial.(A.M Guinard, 2001) The disaster had an overwhelming effect on these countries, because they were unprepared. Usually,” this damage can be avoided by first investing in hazard assessments and then incorporating the findings into decisions affecting future development.”(A.M. Guinard, 2001) The location of housing development, how it is constructed, and how land use affects the natural environment are all factors that contribute significantly to the damage inflicted during a hazard event. (A.M Guinard,2001) Puerto Rico, also in the Hurricane George’s path, escaped serious economic disruption and loss of life, primarily because it was better prepared. The experience of the British Virgin Islands also demonstrates the benefits of preventive steps to lessen the damage from recurring hurricanes. (A.M Guinard, 2001)
Over the past year one of the most serious global hazards has been the Pakistan floods. It began in July of this year, caused by the heavy monsoon rains of the previous months. The floods affected nearly 20 million people, and at one point almost a third of the country was underwater. (OCHA, 2010)

Emergency aid of estimated 456 million...

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