I chose to do some research on the city I graduated from high school in. It is a beach city prone to tsunami and earthquake hazards in southern California. It is also susceptible to wildfires and a not so natural hazard, the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
San Clemente City website
a. Was it easy or difficult to find your community’s plan? Describe how long it took, or in the extreme case, that you never actually found it online.
The emergency plan, or I should say plans, were easy to find. It was the first thing to pop up on a google search.
b. Describe one thing you think shows your community is well-prepared in case of a disaster
The city has an alarm system set up for the case of a tsunami warning.
c. Describe one way you think an improvement could be made to your community’s plan.
It could include maps with routes to evacuate in cases of fire or nuclear meltdown and safe spots in the case of a tsunami.
d. Answer the following question: Do you feel better or worse about how well your community is prepared after reading it’s plan?
After seeing what they had to offer on their website and the recommendations they make to prepare prior to a natural disaster is very reassuring.
Previously I didn’t have much in the way of hazard preparedness besides the things I already had for day to day use. Living in Alaska means I already had plenty of warm clothing and things to sleep with. I also already have a lot of camping gear; flashlight, sleeping bag, tent, portable cookware. I decided that in order to step up my preparedness to make an emergency kit. Things I added to my kit are non perishable food items (this is very important), a fire extinguisher, compass, a tool kit, and butane for my portable stove top.
- Why have we not had such severe floods since 1967?
The Chena river now diverts into the Tanana river when the water level rises too high. The Tanana is lined with dikes now to keep it from flooding Fairbanks.
- Briefly describe at least one positive outcome that emerged as a result of the flood damage and losses.
The Flood Act of 1968 passed, partially due to the Fairbanks flood, giving the city of Fairbanks funds to establish the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project.
The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital was established after the community came together to fund it and flood control projects were the main positive outcomes of the floods.
Summary of Main Point
This article is about the many reasons why different communities and people are affected in worse ways by natural disasters than others.
“A natural disaster is defined by the UN as: “the consequences of events triggered by natural hazards that overwhelm local response capacity and seriously affect the social and economic development of a region.””
- Poverty/Poor vs. Wealthy
- Dec. 10th 1988 a 6.9 M earthquake hit Armenia killing 55,000 and leaving 500,000 homeless
- October 1989 a 7.1 M earthquake hit San Francisco killing only 62 and leaving 12,000 homeless
- The poor often live in less safe environments made to withstand natural disasters
- Conflict + Natural Disaster
- place that have been affected by both simultaneously (Philippines, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Colombia, and Haiti)
- According to the definition above, people already negatively affected by conflict will have a higher chance of enduring a natural disaster due to lowered response capacity
- Such as: unequal access to assistance; aid provision; enforced relocation; gender-based violence; loss of documentation; recruitment of children into fighting forces; unsafe or involuntary return or resettlement; and property restitution
- the Indian ocean 2004 tsunami brought such issues to light
- response to the tsunamis was well funded
- relief organizations provided well working programs
- due to the large amount of agencies competition between them arose causing many of them to monitor and evaluate the situations at hand revealing the forms of discrimination above
Why I Picked this Article?
I picked this article because it has abundant information about the effects of natural disasters in different instances and on who. I think this article provides great insight on our assigned topic with a wide variety of examples of how different people and communities are unfairly treated in the event of a Natural Disaster. I also found the definition of a natural disaster the author added into their article to clarify what a natural disaster truly is.
1) How much water was released during the dam failure?
It is estimated that 12.6 billion gallons of water were released because of the dam failure.
2) How were people downstream warned of the coming flood, once people realized what was happening?
There was no advanced warning system in place. Instead officers had to rush to communities to warn them in person and telephone operators would call communities as well.
3) Take a little tour in Google Earth in the region, by searching for St Francis Dam. From your search, can you figure out how the water is now stored in this region to serve LA?
Water is still stored by a dam nearby the old dam location.
- Describe one new thing you learned from this article that shows that we are working in our country to improve our resilience
Development of measures to help make structures more resilient have been made instead of only ways of protecting people in order to make it easier for communities to bounce back from a disaster situation.
2. Can you take what you learned and think of one way that your own community might be able to increase its resilience to a likely future disaster?
The first thing that comes to mind that would affect the Fairbanks community would be wildfires. I’m not sure what steps can be taken to mitigate such disasters as a community.
This article is about the effects by day after the tsunami.
This sight has images labeled with information about the earthquake and tsunami of areas affected. It is provided by NASA so it is trustworthy.
This article has information on the effects after and during the initial disaster.
This site also has data on the earthquake, tsunami and damages.
- Atmospheric rivers are currents of water vapor in the atmosphere and are the main cause of precipitation. Megafloods in the western united states occur every 100 – 200 years.
2. About 66 inches of rain fell in the Los Angeles area during the 1861-1862 event. Even the Majave desert became flooded. Water depth between New York and San Francisco reached up to 30 ft in flooded areas.
3. As someone who grew up in California most of my life I don’t think the public is much aware of the mega flood hazard at all. We grew up learning about earthquake safety measures, anything from duck and cover, always cover your neck and always have an earthquake emergency kit ready. But not once can I remember learning about flood safety throughout elementary all the way through high school.
Prior to the disaster in 2011 Japan already had a warning system and took precautionary measures for such a disaster. seismographs are used to measure the intensity of earthquakes and are set up to send out an alert if they exceed the threshold. During this disaster the alert was automatically issued to schools, television networks, radio stations and individuals cell phones.
Basically the same game as the earthquake game except you have to protect people from the incoming wave instead of the actual earthquake. One thing I didnt realize before playing the game is that a tsunami’s potential can be diminished through blocking it with obstacles such as trees or other vegetation, dunes and walls.