To What Extent Can Preparedness And Planning Mitigate The Effects Of Tropical Revolving Storms?

1360 words - 6 pages

To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of tropical revolving storms?

A tropical revolving storm is an intense low pressure weather system, that can last for days to weeks within the Tropical regions of the world. On their journey they are spun by the Coriolis force of the earths spin hence their name. The storms have three more commonly used names depending on their location.In North America they are known as hurricanes, cyclones in India and typhoons in Japan and East Asia. The link between these location is that they all lie in a band between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and occur where the seas temperature rises above 27°C and is heated to a sufficient ...view middle of the document...

Crisis management is the reaction of a country to a sudden event where the key aim is to reduce any further damage or loss of life occurring where as contingency planning is the process of preparing for a predictable event such as a storm which has been foreseen by monitoring systems.

In the USA the National Weather Service monitors tropical cyclones. They take hourly measurements of temperature, humidity, and wind speed while also tracking storm paths using satellites so they can send out a national warning as soon as they detect an incoming storm. The early detection allows for mass evacuation in the threatened area. The 2005 Hurricane Katrina had a warning issued leading to the New Orleans mayor ordering a general evacuation. 350,000 residents were evacuated ahead of the landfall. Those unable to leave the city were accommodated in temporary refuges. However, not everyone heeded the warnings which is probably a factor which played a role in the 1830 deaths. In Burma, there was no advanced warning of the storm meaning there was no evacuation strategy carried out. Due to this, residents were given very little time to react to the storm and evacuate the areas hit hardest and is most likely a key factor behind the 130,000 deaths in the Irrawaddy delta region which was destroyed.

Hard engineering is also a determining element behind how damaging a storm can be. In New Orlean’s the government constructed artificial levees to prevent storm surges which re a common hazard of hurricanes. The levees however proved to be to small and unable to cope with a hurricane of such magnitude leading to 80% of the city being flooded due to the levees being breached. This highlights that although techniques such as hard engineering may be used, they are not always successful especially if they are not maintained or built to cope with higher graded storms. The US government responded to the defence failure by spending $17billion on the rebuilding and strengthening of future flood defences not just in New Orleans but all over the country. In Burma there was no hard engineering in place at all. the importance of this is stressed by the figures that showw that 92% of the deaths caused by the storm were a result of storm surges which most likely could have been reduced had the government not only predicted and warned people about the incoming storm but had defences in place to reduce the damage its hazards caused.

There is factors that are out of human control that do affect the severity of a topical storms damage. Tropical resolving storms have varying sizes and durations which affect how long a storm will last for and what intensity its landfall will be. There is no way that humans can reduce the time or intensity they last for so can only do what they can to prevent the...

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