Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vulnerability Assessment and Hazard Mitigation/Emergency Preparedness




Vulnerability Assessment and Hazard Mitigation/Emergency Preparedness 
Introduction
In the recent times, there have been increasing natural catastrophic activities in various parts of the world. These activities come with devastating floods that cause destruction of property and death of innocent people. Among the catastrophes is the Hurricane Katrina that occurred in 2005 that was characterized by severe flooding and destruction of property. Such storms are believed to be formed in warm waters of the sea when the wind and air pressures are high and only move under the influence of steering winds that help build up power of movement Stewart, Stacy (2005). Researchers suggest that human activities that have led to global warming have contributed a lot to the raising of the temperature in the atmosphere.
 There are concerns that the warnings given to the people concerning the coming of the storm were not taken seriously since the people of Alabama, New Orleans and other affected areas were only used small storms of level 3. This notion is thought to have caused them to imagine that the coming storm will have the same magnitude as others thus failed to prepare for the disaster or move to other areas. (Drye. W, 2005)
The infrastructure in the areas was not also constructed to withstand such forces. Example, walls of dams, canals and other water bodies were not strong enough to withstand the magnitude of the Hurricane Katrina thus the strong winds and heavy rainfall easily caused their destruction and as a result water escaped into the city leaving most areas under water.
Although hurricanes and storms are natural disasters, they can be mitigated. Mitigation is the action that reduces or eliminates the long term risk to people or property from natural and manmade hazards. Floods can be mitigated in various ways including knowing your flood risk by knowing an areas’ water holding capacity, removing debris from the gutters and culverts so that water can freely flow and drain. Dirt in the culverts can cause blockage and hamper the general water movement within the area. Other ways include securing double entry doors that offer resistance to the flood water, construction of strong walls on the shores to withstand the forces
During the Hurricane Katrina storm, people were evacuated form their home to the New Orleans superdome. The people needed humanitarian resources, security and law enforcers. These people were helpful in the prevention of theft and looting thus able to manage the resources available for the affected population. In future, the government should put place response units in vulnerable areas to quickly respond to such situations. (Brown, 2005)
Radioactive Bombs
With the discovery of the radio nuclear materials and there effects, there is need for nations to prepare adequately to combat the material incase they are used by terrorists in bombs or are accidentally released in the air. In the USA, the initial training for the preparedness for the dirty bomb is underway. While terrorists pose a threat to spread of radioactive materials measures are have been put in place to curb that by thorough screening of cargo entering the country at all terminals by use of radioactive detectors. Keeping all the radioactive materials in the country under one station has been seen as the best way to consolidate and manage the materials thus making it hard for ill motive persons from accessing it.   
Contaminated individuals need to be decontaminated before leaving the area lest they spread the material and contaminate other areas. This is done by thorough washing of the victim using soap and water. This method pose a risk incases of large contaminations as it will slow the process of evacuation and hospitalization. (Frost, R. M, 2005)
The United States of America has put in place radioactive detector in the city of New York and this will help in the detection of radioactive materials in the air




References
Dingle, J. (2005), "DIRTY BOMBS: real threat?” Security 42 (4): 48.
Drye, Willie. "Hurricane Katrina Pulls Its Punches in New Orleans." National Geographic. August 29,         2005. Retrieved on 2006-06-05.
Frost, R. M. (2005), Nuclear Terrorism After 9/11, Routledge for the International Institute for Strategic  Studies, ISBN 0-415-39992-0.
Brown, Aaron (August 29, 2005). "Hurricane Katrina Pummels Three States". CNN. Retrieved 2011-05-20. Stewart, Stacy (August 26, 2005). "Hurricane Katrina Discussion No. 14, 5:00 pm EDT". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2006-09-16.